Soto Ayam Madura: Madurese Chicken Soup

Soto ayam Madura is a famous Indonesian-style chicken soup from the island of Madura. This hearty soup is liberally garnished with vermicelli, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.

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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.

Soto ayam Madura is a hearty, nutritious soup, composed of delicious chicken broth, tasty shredded chicken, soft vermicelli and some fresh vegetables. It’s a legendary dish from Madura, an island off the northeastern coast of Java (the island is also famous for its satay). Soto ayam Madura is one of the most popular types of soto (Indonesian-style soup) ubiquitous in Indonesia. For more information about soto, check out our Soto Bandung article and recipe. 

Soto Ayam Madura is prepared by simmering bone-in chicken with herbs and spices to obtain a flavourful broth. Sometimes, fresh turmeric is added to lend a more complex flavour and a vibrant yellow color. But some people prefer a clear broth and omit the turmeric. The chicken is then taken out of the soup, and before serving, deep fried until golden brown and then shredded.

Soto dishes are typically served with tons of garnish. Vermicelli, bean sprouts, spring onions, celery, potato crisps, a slice of lime, sambal and sweet soy sauce are common. Sometimes perkedel kentang  is also added to complete the repertoire.


Eating Soto

Eating soto for the first time can be very confusing because of the amount of garnish. Thankfully, when you order soto ayam Madura in a restaurant, most of the garnish such as shredded chicken, veggies and vermicelli will have already been added to the soup. Condiments such as lime, sambal and sweet soy sauce come on the side optionally to enhance the flavours. The best way to gauge how to use the condiments is to taste the broth first. You can mix and match to decide what’s best: there’s no right or wrong way of doing this! The garnishing, tasting and mixing is all part of the soto ritual that makes the experience special.

Soto ayam Madura is great both in hot or cold weather. It’s satisfying by itself, but some additional steamed rice makes it more fulfilling. 

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Soto Ayam Madura: Madurese Chicken Soup

Soto Ayam Madura: Madurese Chicken Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Chicken and Poultry
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Soto ayam Madura is a famous Indonesian-style chicken soup from the island of Madura. This hearty soup is liberally garnished with vermicelli, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.


  • Main soup ingredients: 1 medium chicken (around 1 kg), cut into 4 parts.
  • 1 lt water
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
  • 4 candlenuts, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, use only the white parts, bruised and knotted
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil for deep frying
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced 
  • For garnish: 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled, halved or quartered
  • 100 gr bean sprout, blanched for a few seconds in boiling water
  • 50 gr vermicelli noodles, cook following packet directions
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 small celery, sliced 
  • Sweet soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • Sambal soto 
  • Perkedel kentang
  • Potato chips


  1. Put the sliced potato in a bowl and cover with enough water to prevent oxidation. Set aside.
  2. Clean the chicken thoroughly, set aside.
  3. Using a food processor, blend into a fine paste: garlic, ginger, turmeric and candlenuts. Set aside.
  4. In a cooking pot, boil the water over high heat. When it’s boiling, lower the heat to medium and add the chicken.

    add the chicken

  5. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan and sauté the blended spices for about 4 minutes until fragrant.

    sauté the blended spices

  6. Add the sautéed spices to the pot with the chicken. 
  7. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, salt and white pepper powder.

    Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, salt and white pepper

  8. Cover the pot and simmer the soup over low to medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  9. When it’s done, take out the chicken.
  10. Before serving, fry the chicken and shred. 
  11. For the potato chips, fry the potato slices until golden and crispy (around 3-4 minutes).

    fry the potato slices

  12. Take a bowl, add some vermicelli, bean sprouts, shredded chicken, potato crisps. Sprinkle some celery and spring onion on top.
  13. Add half a hard-boiled egg (and perkedel kentang if available) and then pour the broth and serve. The condiments (sambal, lime and sweet soy sauce) are presented on the table.

    Soto Ayam Madura is done!


  • For a healthier option, I did not deep fry the chicken. It makes it less authentic, but no less delicious.

Keywords: Non-Spicy, Healthy, vermicelli

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