Balinese Soul Food

I’m a massive fan of grilled fish, seafood and abundant greens at the best of times, but come tropical holidays and it takes a pretty special dish to tempt me otherwise. However, on our recent trip to Bali somehow Soto Ayam (spicy yellow chicken soup) found its way into the mix. Be it the inherent medicinal qualities of chicken soup or the addition of turmeric and its anti oxidant and anti inflammatory properties, but there was something especially cleansing about this magical soup. Turns out it was this aromatic chicken broth that brought my most vivid Bali memories racing back. Endless summer days, lush green gardens, the sun setting, balmy nights, sipping on coconuts and that feeling you just can’t quite describe xx

Soto Ayam

1 litre chicken stock (plus extra as needed)
3 chicken breasts on the bone
5 lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass chopped into 3cm pieces
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 shallots finely diced
2 shallots sliced
1 clove garlic minced
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 chunk ginger finely diced
500g brown rice noodles (cooked as per pack)
1 leek finely sliced
1 stalk celery finely sliced
2 tomatos diced
juice of half a lime
4 hard boiled eggs
fried shallots to serve (store bought)
1 red chilli (optional)
coriander (optional)

In a large saucepan begin by boiling chicken stock. Flatten lemon grass pieces so flavour can escape. Once stock is boiled, add lime leaves, lemon grass, tomato, lime juice and chicken. Cover and continue to boil for approx 15 minutes then return to a low simmer. Remove chicken from the boil and cut off bone into pieces. Set aside.

In a morta and pestle (or a blender) combine finely diced shallots, garlic, ginger and turmeric and pound (or blend) until a paste forms (coriander and coriander seeds can be added here). Set aside.

In a large frying pan heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Add sliced shallots, celery and leek, saute for approx 2 minutes. Add yellow paste and cook for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Then add the chicken pieces and stir, covering evenly with paste. After 3 – 4 minutes or once chicken is golden, transfer chicken mixture to chicken broth and return to the boil for a couple more minutes.

Divide noodles and eggs evenly into separate serving bowls and top with soup and a sprinkle of fried shallots to serve.

Pics and Recipe by MummyKnows