Sop Ayam Pak Min: Mr. Min’s Chicken Soup

This recipe is a recreation of Mr. Min’s Chicken Soup, a famous dish. Clear, light and refreshing — the perfect comfort food for a rainy day.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Sop ayam Pak Min or Pak Min’s Chicken Soup was pioneered by the late Pak Tugimin, who started his business in Klaten, Central Java. Before starting his chicken soup business, he worked odd jobs and was inspired by his aunt who had a successful soup business earlier. Together with his wife, Wagiyem, he developed the chicken soup recipe and the two peddled their soup from village to village using pikulan, a carrying pole, which they carried on their shoulders.

Pak Min gradually gained more customers, and following his business success, he opened several branches in different cities. His chicken soup became quite popular and people started replicating the recipe and referring to it as Pak Min’s Chicken Soup. 

The soup is basically a clear chicken soup made from boiled ayam kampung (free range chicken) and spices/herbs. There are no additional vegetables or other main ingredients, which makes it different from other chicken soups. The main attraction of the soup is the clear, flavourful and delicious broth with succulent chicken pieces. One complete chicken soup bowl consists of pieces of chicken meat, and a few glass noodles, sliced celery and fried shallots as garnish. Lime wedges and sambal are also served on the side to give it a kick. The soup is usually enjoyed with steamed rice. People often say that the soup is quite refreshing!


This recipe is not the original recipe as it remains top secret, but hopefully this is close to the original one. Besides, cooking is something very personal. Given the exact same recipe, different hands lend different results. As Pak Min says, “The key to flavouring is the taste bud, and not the measurement.”

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Sop Ayam Pak Min: Mr. Min’s Chicken Soup

Sop Ayam Pak Min: Mr. Min’s Chicken Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Poultry, Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


This chicken soup recipe is a recreation of Pak Min’s Chicken Soup, a famous dish created by one Mr. Min. Clear, light and refreshing, this chicken soup is not spicy and is the perfect comfort food for a rainy day.


  • 1 kg chicken 
  • 2 fresh Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam)
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 stalks small celery, knotted
  • 4 cm whole cinnamon 
  • 4 cloves
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 lt water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped


  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces, wash thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a large cooking pan, put the chicken, water, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, celery, cinnamon and cloves.

    Put the ingredients in to boil

  3. Heat the pan over medium high heat.
  4. While waiting for the soup to boil, using mortar and pestle (or a blender), pound the garlic and ginger into a smooth paste.
  5. In another pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and saute the ginger-garlic paste until fragrant, around 3 minutes.

    Saute the ginger-garlic paste

  6. Add it to the soup.
  7. When the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a low flame.
  8. Add the salt, sugar, white pepper powder and ground nutmeg. 
  9. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  10. Cook the soup for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  11. Serve the soup with Sambal Soto/Sop, lime wedges, cut celery and fried shallots or onions.


  • For the best results, use ayam kampung, or free range chicken, for making this soup.

Keywords: Non-spicy, one-pot meal, chicken soup

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