Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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Soto Ayam
Javanese Chicken Soup
Soto Ayam can be part of a large meal, or can be a full meal served with lontong.
Indonesian dragon
Total time: 1 hour
10 macadamia or kemiri nuts
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. shrimp paste
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
16 cups (1 gallon) chicken stock
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
3 cups rice vermicelli
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
4 eggs, hard boiled and quartered
2 cups thinly sliced scallions
2 cups mung bean sprouts
Chili paste
½ cup, finely chopped parsley
2 cups crispy fried onions

In a blender or food processor, combine the macadamia nuts, onion, garlic, ginger and shrimp paste until smooth. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil, then add the aromatic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin and pepper and continue to fry until the aroma mellows.

Add the bay leaves, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and poach for 15 minutes, until they are cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts from the broth, rinse them to cool them quickly, shred by hand lengthwise along the grain, and return to the soup.

Blend in a little of the stock with the tamarind paste, then pour it into the soup. Add the noodles and cook for another 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and pour into a tureen.

Place the garnishes in separate bowls around the tureen. Each guest may put an egg quarter, some scallions and bean sprouts on the bottom of the soup dish, ladle in the soup, turn up the heat with more chili paste if desired, then sprinkle it over with parsley and fried onions.