Soto Ayam LamonganSoto Ayam Lamongan is one of my ultimate childhood dishes.  The variants is too many due regions and ethnicities which are enriching the diversity the variety.  Soto is an Indonesian soup that can be made with or without coconut milk.  As there are ample collection of soto in Indonesian culinary, you may see some of my soto posts.

In Surabaya and its surrounding, SOTO LAMONGAN refers to Soto Ayam Lamongan which can translated as Lamongan style Chicken Soup. While SOTO MADURA refers to Soto Daging (Madura style Beef Soup). If you drive about 2 hours to the east toward Bali, there is a small town call Probolinggo, this town also has a different soto ayam.  What the difference between these two soto ayam is the koyah to sprinkle over the soto.  Soto Ayam Lamongan uses a mix of shrimp crackers and fried garlic that are ground. While the Soto in Probolinggo, the koyah is made from toasted grated coconut.

Did you remember about Indonesian yellow spice paste (bumbu dasar kuning) post?  This recipe can use that short cut.  However, my bumbu dasar kuning stock is done, so I have to make from scratch.

Soto Ayam Lamongan
Lamongan-Style Chicken Soup
modified from mbak Lia’s recipe

1 whole free range chicken (about 1 kg, 2.2 lbs), quartered
2 liter water
3 teaspoon seasalt
2 teaspoon sugar
50 mililiter oil for stir frying
4 Chinese celery stalks, knotted
3 leeks, separate the white and green parts

6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 lemongrases, take the white part only and bruised

6 shallots (or 3 if you use the biggers size),halved
6 cloves garlic, bruised
4-centimeter turmeric root
4-centimeter ginger root
4-centimeter galangal
1 1/4 teaspoon whitepeppercorn
6 candlenuts (kemiri, kukui nuts)

80 grams mungbean vermicelli
80 grams thinly sliced cabbage
4 boiled eggs, remove the shells
crispy potato chips
chopped Chinese celery
kecap manis
wedged key limes
candlenuts sambal
garlic koyah (koyah bawang putih)*
shrimp crackers

Place ginger, turmeric, galangal, shallot, garlic and candlenuts in a baking pan. Char them to elevate the aroma about 10-15 minutes. Peel the skin of ginger root, galangal and turmeric roots. Combine with other charred ingerdients in a food processor. Process them until smooth. You can always use a mortar and pestle.

Roughly slice white part of leeks. Wash the green parts really well.

In a skillet, heat up the oil. Add ground spices and stir fry until fragrant. Add herb ingredients, keep stirring until darker. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil. Place in chicken, boiled egg (I don’t eat boiled egg, so I don’t add this), Chinese celery stalks, green part of leeks, seasalt, sugar and stir-fried mixture. Reduce the heat and place the lid on, but let a bit room for air to release from the pot. Simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender.

Remove egg and chicken from the pot. Let them to cool down. Shred chicken and slice egg. Set aside. Put the chicken carcass back to the broth.

Discard green part of leeks. Toss in sliced white parts of leek into stock. Turn the heat to medium

Correct the flavour by tasting it first and if you need you can add seasalt and sugar. Bring to a boil until the leek cooked (you can add with hot water if you feel you need more stock). Remove from the heat.

To soften the vermicelli, pour boiling hot water until soft and drain.

As the East Java style, soto and rice will serve together in a bowl.

In a bowl, place cooked rice, vermicelli, sliced cabbage, shredded chicken and sliced egg. Laddle hot stock over. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon garlic koyah, crispy potato chips and sliced Chinese celery leaves.

Serve with candlenuts sambal, kecap manis, slices of key lime and shrimp crackers on the side.

* Garlic Koyah Koyah Bawang Putih
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and fried jadikan bawang putih goreng
75 grams a good quality of shrimp crackers, follow the directions on your package of crackers to fry

Pound and stir fried garlic and shrimp crackers until blended and smooth. Ready to be used for sprinkle.


  1. I like the sound of your soto soup. An the koyah koyah is a most interesting condiment, I don’t think I’ve ever had shrimp crackers on my soto before. Hope you’re well, my friend!

    • The shrimp crackers koyah is not only for soto, but it’s added to bakso (beefballs soup) too in the area where I grew up.

  2. […] Chicken and egg rendang was chosen since it is a faster cooking process than the beef rendang.  I still used the same rendang recipe that I have with a slightly twist by adding green cardamom. I also introduced them to Bumbu Dasar Kuning (Indonesian Yellow Basic Spice) for marinating the chickens.  I told them that bumbu dasar kuning is easy to make at home and can be kept frozen in ice trays.  It can be used for marinating any protein resources,  such as making sate klopo (coconut beef satay), grilled lamb chop, nasi goreng, mie goreng (fried noodle) or for a soup base. […]

  3. Im a Malaysian. Tried my first soto ayam in Amsterdam in 2000 and fall in love it it ever since..Tried to asked my x indo maid frm Medan to cook it but instate she cook me SAYUR LODEH???
    Been in Jakarta recently n Soto Ayam Lembungan is the BEST….HELP ME ANY ONE TO COOK A GOOD ONE PLsssss

  4. With the stunning list of these ingredients I know this soup with be nourishing and tasty. As the weather starts to cool down, I really crave these kinds of soups. Do you really garnish with potato chips? Thats interesting. Take care, BAM

  5. Dear Indonesia Eats.. Its soooooo happy to find your website, I am jule I from indonesia andnow live in south africa for 3 month… I really struggle here to find the indonesian spices … Basicly I really not know about cooking but I love to cook and try new recipes .. Soto lamongan surabaya is one of my fav indonesian food … I wish I can find the spices , I miss all indonesian food so much :((… Nice to know you … XXX

  6. It’s quite possible I am being dumb, but I cannot see the mention of the lime leaves and lemongrass in the method? I’m assuming these go in the stock pot with the chicken?


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