This is my family recipe for the Singapore Chicken Soto Soup. The traditional way of Soto soup is normally serve with either rice cakes (lontong) or vermicelli or yellow noodles. Once serve with vermicelli or yellow noodles it is no longer a Chicken Soto Soup but we call it Mee Soto. ("mee" as in noodles- Soto Noodles).
INGREDIENTSTO BLEND AND PURIFY
First blend and purify the 3 ingredients together garlic, ginger and onion. Pour into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix well.
Heat a non-stick pot with 4 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Add all the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamoms. Fry for 3 minutes on medium heat.
Add all the blended ingredients into the pot and put on low fire so that it does not burn. Add galangal and lemongrass and stir. Put on medium heat and stir fry for 10 minutes. Make sure the oil does not dry up and the ingredients do not burn. If the oil dries up add a little bit of sunflower oil.
Add the chicken; stir them together with the content for 3 minutes.
On medium heat add 1 litre of water. Stir well, add salt and white pepper to taste and cover the lid. Check and stir occasionally.
Simmer for 40 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, take the chicken out from the pot and shred the meat and keep it aside. Put the bones back into the pot.
When you are ready to serve, blanch the bean sprouts (taugeh) in a separate pot for less than 30 seconds. Put the bean sprouts in a bowl with the rice cakes (lontong) which are cut into medium size cubes. Add the chicken soto soup into the bowl. Top it with the shredded chicken. Halve the hardboiled egg and place it beside the shredded chicken. Garnish with a little spring onions and fried onions.
Tip: Serve best with rice cakes (lontong) or noodles. I buy long grain rice in a plastic pack "Nivo Brand". It comes in a box in the Tokos here Netherlands and I boil them for about 3 hours. The normal "ketan lontong" which is sold loosely per piece in Tokos are not the right type of lontong. "Ketan" rice is soft and sticky even after boiling for hours. The actual lontong is firm and not sticky.
How to cut this plastic wrap lontong? Simple. Do not tear open the plastic yet. Simply cut through a portion of it with a sharp knife. After you cut a small portion, then peel out the plastic and cut into medium size cubes.
What to do with the remainder of the lontong after you cut? Take a plastic cling wrap and wrap around it and put in the fridge.
Alternative to rice cakes (lontong), you can use noodles. Normally in Singapore we do not serve chicken soto soup with white rice.