During my latest trip back home to Malaysia, my sister-in-law was raving about the Soto Ayam prepared by Uji, her domestic help from Indonesia. Uji was kind enough to show me how she made this dish and let me photograph her. She tells me unlike the Soto Ayam that was commonly served in Malaysia, in Indonesia, the Soto Ayam soup is served over plain white rice or clear noodles. In Malaysia, Soto Ayam soup is served over compressed rice cakes called nasi impit or ketupat, or with yellow noodles. She had no exact quantities for the ingredients and I was fine with that. I wanted to capture the spirit of the dish. I will refine it recipe along the way and quantity the ingredients. For now, I just want to have a record of the cooking session.
Be warned, this is a lengthy post as I included almost all the pictures I took of the cooking session. A picture is worth a thousand words and I need them to recreate this wonderful dish
Uji tells me you have to flash fry turmeric slices in oil before you grind them. It helps remove the overly strong and sometimes earthy smell of the turmeric root. This I never knew. I had always used fresh, unfried turmeric in my spice paste. Learnt something new and useful that day!
She had a container each of sliced candle nut (buah keras) and sliced garlic. It looked like approximately 1 cup each in quantity. There was a plate of ground white pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander; maybe 2 teaspoon of each and a pinch of salt.
|Sliced candle nuts|
|Ground white pepper,ground cumin and salt|
|From bottom up- candle nuts, garlic and turmeric|
|A bit of water added to help grind the ingredients.|
|2 Slices of Galanga or Lengkuas|
|Slices of galanga, ginger, leomgrass stalks and bitter lemon leaves|
|Deglaze the spice wok|
|Tenderize the chicken by stabbing it with a fork|
|Lightly season with salt and pepper before steaming|
|Steam until cooked through|
|Add spring onions to soup stock|
|Uji adding the last of the tomatoes|
|Cooked steamed chicken|
|Thinly sliced potato|
|Drain the potato slices|
|Testing temperature of oil|
Can you say YUM!! Freshly fried potato chips made right in front of you. May have taken a nibble or two of those potato chips :)
|Add some salt to the fried chiles and garlic|
|Smash the ingredients together|
|Right texture is achieved|