July 2012: Indonesia

Quick Facts

Official Language: Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
Some Other Languages Spoken: Javanese, Madurese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, Bugis
Ethnic Groups: Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9% (2000 census)

Food Facts: Indonesian cuisine is influenced by Chinese, Middle Eastern, European, and Indian cuisines.  With approximately 300 different ethnic groups, Indonesian cuisine varies by region, with rice being a main staple.

Recipe: Soto ayam
Soto ayam is a traditional chicken noodle soup in Indonesia. The soup base is spiced with ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and lemongrass.  The addition of turmeric gives the broth a bright yellow color.   The soup is filled with chicken and vermicelli noodles and garnished with various optional ingredients, including eggs, spring onions, and potatoes.
Yield: 2 servings

1 ½ lbs chicken leg or breast
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp pepper powder
5 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 sliced medium onion, sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, main stalk (yellow section), bruised
1 stick cinnamon
6 cardamoms
3 oz bean thread vermicelli
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges
2 potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into wedges
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
Salt, to taste
Fried shallots, for garnish

Grind garlic and in a large bowl, mix with ginger, corriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and pepper.  Mix in 1/2 cup of water to form paste.  Put chicken into paste and let marinate for 1 hour.

Heat oil in a pot and fry onions until slightly brown.  Add chicken, lemongrass, cinnamon, cardamom and 5 cups of water.  When it starts boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Take out chicken and cut into small pieces, keeping soup over low heat.  Taste soup and add salt to taste.

In another pot, put bean thread in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, or until soft.  Drain and divide noodles between bowls.

Put chicken, potatoes, eggs, and spring onions on top of noodles.

Pour hot soup over noodles and other ingredients.  Garnish with fried shallots.

Source: AsianWok, http://www.asianwok.com/soto-ayam-indonesian-chicken-noodle-soup-r-105.html

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