The last time I made Soto Ayam using spice paste made from scratch, it didn’t quite hit the spot. Soto Ayam is a popular spicy chicken soup very commonly found in Indonesian cuisine.
I’m shocked to realize that some years have flown by in a blink of an eye since then. I haven’t made it again since but recently I was inspired to give it a another stab. This time, instead of soup form I decided to spin it into a fusion style pasta dish. I reckon the robust flavors of the spices will make a delicious pasta sauce.
I tweaked the spice paste recipe a bit compared to my previous iteration and I got it down pat. The inclusion of kaffir lime leaf, cumin and coriander powders made all the difference. I’m very happy with the taste and have listed an updated recipe below.
Soto Ayam Penne
1 chicken breast
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bruised
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup penne
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 ½ tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
5 shallots, peeled and halved
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh turmeric, or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1. Boil chicken with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, salt. Reserve stock. Drain and shred.
2. To make Spice Paste: combine peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small food processor. Pulse until ground. Add halved shallots, garlic, turmeric and ginger and pulse to a thick paste. (Add a little bit of reserved stock if needed.)
3. Heat peanut oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When very hot, add spice paste and cook, stirring until paste is cooked and beginning to separate from the oil, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice.
4. Combine al dente penne and shredded chicken into the mix. If desired, add reserved stock one spoonful at a time for a more fluid sauce.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and quartered limes. Serve immediately.
I created this dish and filmed the demonstration video in a bid to become the next Food Hero, a program host for food and travel-centric television show broadcasted on Food Network Asia and Asian Food Channel. :”) I had fun producing the video.
Man, I don’t know what possessed me to go for this as I normally do not talk while cooking. A, cooking is a form of mindful meditation for me and I relish in focusing on going through the motions. B, since I film all my food videos by my own self, I’m constantly adjusting tripod height and camera angles, washing hands every couple minutes while simultaneously handling gadgets and raw food, etc. so carrying a conversation is one extra task for me. Like, my brain is already 100% engaged in staying alert so that I don’t slice off a finger, accidentally add heaps of salt, or burn my kitchen down. My bandwidth is maxed out and can’t think of fancy adjectives or happy stories. C, I’m also rather terrible at monologues.
However! For my own sake I want to give this a fair shot as I’d really love to be on television and share what I know, what I’m passionate about, what I think is good for the soul, ie. food and travel. Additionally, several friends have encouraged me to do this as they think I would be good for this sorta thing. Thanks for the vote of confidence, pals. :P
For all who’ve shown tremendous support towards my Instagram food videos, if/when I become a Food Hero the show will be an even greater platform for me to share more yummyliscious eats. Sharing with a bigger audience is always awesome and we can all be foodie rockstars together.
Anyhoo, I’ve sent in my video to the Food Hero Team so I’m crossing my fingers, spatulas, and chopsticks in hope that one day y’all will get to see me on television.
Check out my Soto Ayam Penne video on the Food Hero website and mobile app. “Like” and “Share” on the app (Google Play, Apple Store). Please shower my submission video with lots and lots of lurv! Hur hur, thank you.