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Soto Ayam Ambengan - Ambengan Chicken Soup

The naming of a soto is pretty simple, usually we just append the location it hails from after soto. For example, soto Betawi comes from Betawi, which is Jakarta by the way :) Then, coto Makassar comes from Makassar, soto Bandung comes from Bandung, etc.

Soto ayam Ambengan is exactly like that, but I think it is way way WAY too specific since this soto actually comes from the city of Surabaya, from a soto restaurant located on Ambengan Street! I mean, if it is up to me, I would have called it soto Surabaya, less confusion. ;)

Soto Ayam Ambengan - Ambengan Chicken Soup
Soto Ayam Ambengan - Ambengan Chicken Soup

Now that you know how the soup got its name. I am going to tell you the characteristic of this soto.

Soto ayam Ambengan has a yellow colored soup since turmeric is one of must have spices to make the soup, and koya is always added when enjoying a bowl of this soup.

Koya is a powdery mixture made from crushed shrimp crackers (kerupuk udang) and fried garlic, good stuff I am telling you, it amps up the umami taste by a lot.

If you cannot find shrimp crackers, the best substitution would be crushed fried ebi (dried tiny shrimps).

Here is another shot with a broken down list on what goes into a soto ayam Ambengan, minus the soup by the way so you get a better idea. ♥

The make up of a soto ayam Ambengan.
The make up of a soto ayam Ambengan.

Soto Ayam Ambengan - Ambengan Chicken Soup

5.0 from 4 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Print Recipe


  • 1 free range chicken (Indonesian: ayam kampung), cut into 4
  • 2 1/2 liter water
  • 5 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 15 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 8 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 6 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 2 inch turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • Koya (shrimp crackers powder), grind the following together
  • 20 gram shrimp crackers (Indonesian: kerupuk udang)
  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish and accompaniments
  • 100 gram glass noodle (Indonesian: sohun)
  • 100 gram cabbage (Indonesian: kol)
  • 6 hard boiled eggs (Indonesian: telur rebus)
  • 2 scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang), thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Chinese celery (Indonesian: daun seledri), thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
  • boiled chili sauce (Indonesian: sambal rebus) *


  • Soto
    1. Boil together chicken, water, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and sauté spice paste until fragrant. Transfer the cooked spices into the chicken soup.
    3. Season the soup with salt and sugar, and keep cooking until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
    4. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken from the soup, remove the bones and tear the meat into small shreds with your hands. Set the chicken meat aside.
  • Garnish and accompaniments
    1. Soak the glass noodle in cold water until soften, then blanch in boiling water until fully transparent. Refresh under cold water, drain, and set aside.
    2. Thinly slice the cabbage to make cabbage shreds, then blanch in boiling water.
  • To serve
    1. Arrange boiled glass noodle, cabbage, chicken meat, and egg in a serving bowl. Top with some soup and some koya. Garnish with sliced scallion and Chinese celery. Serve with boiled chili sauce and lime wedges.


  • (*) Sambal rebus (boiled chili sauce) recipe: https://dailycookingquest.com/sambal-rebus-boiled-chili-sauce.html
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    Lovely, my mom specifically using the male malay chicken for the broth... quite and effort for gathering party, but i guess it's all worthed then!

  • Simone Roberts Simone Roberts says:

    I just made this for my Indonesian fiance. He said it tasted just like his Mums and it was the first time I cooked it! Is there any other better compliment?

  • tiffanie tiffanie says:

    Ci, You are truly Godsent. Thank you for your recipes, time and effort into making this blog. We live in Jakarta but my husband is from Boston. We came here in march and are now stuck due to covid. I have been longing for flavors from home but to be honest was quite overwhelmed whether or not i could find any ingredients here. But you gave me the guidance and courage and now our pantry is pretty much all indo stuff hah! terima kasih loh ci!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I'm very happy my blog is useful, Tiffanie. It can be overwhelming trying to adjust to a new country. I with you the best, and happy cooking. :)

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

  • Leah Tunggal Leah Tunggal says:

    Hello ! My husband is from Surabaya, and he said this recipe tastes just like home! Once again, I am delighted, follow the recipe and it turns out perfect:)

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