This soup is a delicious surprise. It’s so fragrant, so creamy. Truly special. The little bit of coconut (santen) brings all the flavors together and the kencur (also known as Kaempferia galanga, aromatic ginger, sand ginger, cut cherry or resurrection lily) pushes the flavor of the whole dish into something new.
My mother in law is a huge fan of soto ayam, but now she tells me she has a new favorite: this soto Madura. I think I agree with her.
Kencur is a root like turmeric or ginger. But it has a different taste. Sweeter and less spicy than ginger. You only need to use a little bit of kencur because the taste can be overpowering. In this soto kencur powder is used. Practical, because you can properly weigh the quantity.
The amount in this recipe is good for 4 people, (everybody can have second or even third portions of course ;-). The soup is made in about 80-90 minutes.
Soto Madura #133 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 137.
One big fat chicken (not from the freezer)
4 hard boiled eggs
2 large boiled potatoes
250 grams bean sprouts
100 grams laksa (noodles)
1/10 block santen (coconut cream or coconut milk)
1 large lemon cut into wedges
10 tablespoons of chopped onions
3 chopped cloves of garlic
3 roasted kemiries
1 teaspoon kencur
3 teaspoons laos
4 leaves of jeruk purut
4 stalks of lemongrass
3 tablespoons chopped chives
5 tablespoons chopped celery
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons oil
Rub the onions with garlic, the roasted kemiris, kencur and galangal together. Cook the chicken in 2 liters of water, 2 tablespoons of salt, peppercorns, with the djeruk purut and the lemongrass. When the water boils add the crushed herbs. Take the chicken out of the soup after 45 minutes and debone it. Take out the less beautiful parts too.
Cut the rest into pieces and put it back in the broth along with the block of coconut cream. Bring everything back to a simmer. Soak the laksa and after 15 minutes bring it to a boil. Than leave it in a sieve to drain. Peel the eggs and cut them into four parts, cut the boiled potatoes into cubes. Rinse the bean sprouts with hot water from the tap. Now arrange all these specially prepared ingredients into small bowls. Do the same with the chopped celery, chives and the rest of the onions. The onions are fried in the oil until brown and crispy. Pour the broth with the chicken skins into a terrine.
People eat the soto Madura in the following way:
Arrange in a bowl or deep plate a few chunks of potato, a little bot of bean sprouts, some laksa, chives and celery. Pour the broth over it. Drizzle a little lemon juice on top. Place a few pieces of egg on top too and sprinkle some the fried onions over it. Serve with white rice and sambal ulek and salty soy sauce.
Yes, it is quite some work. Actually, as much as a soto ajam. But it’s worth it. Every part of this Madura makes the difference. The egg, chives, celery and soy sauce. They all add to the special flavor of this delightful, warm en extremely tasty soup.