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Banjarese Chicken Soup Recipe (Soto Banjar)

Updated on March 15, 2012
Soto Banjar (Banjarese Chicken Soup)
Soto Banjar (Banjarese Chicken Soup) | Source

Banjarese chicken soup or known as Soto Banjar is traditional soup (soto) of Banjarese ethnic group from South Borneo, Indonesia. It's a soupy dish consist of chicken, cellophane noodle, lontong/ketupat (rice cakes), hard boiled egg, perkedel (potato cakes). The broth is seasoned with various spices such as cardamom, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Unlike Javanese soto ayam (chicken noodle soup), soto Banjar has mild and delicate flavors. It is usually eaten with rice cakes instead of steamed rice. Soto Banjar is served during lunch or dinner, even some people love to have it for breakfast. It's quite filling.

If you are visiting Banjarmasin, South Borneo, there are some small eateries serving the best Banjarese chicken soup such as soto Bang Amat and soto Yana Yani.

Here is recipe of soto Banjar to try. There are some various method to fix this traditional soup but this is the authentic one. Evaporated milk is added to the broth to give milky and creamy texture.


Nutmeg | Source
Fennel Seeds
Fennel Seeds | Source
Star Anise
Star Anise | Source

What You Need

Serves 6 - 8


2 lbs chicken pieces (thigh, breast, leg)

2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (no sodium)

1 tbsp salt

1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground pepper

2 fl oz evaporated milk

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp white poppy seeds (kas-kas)

12 cardamom pods

10 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick (2-inches)

1 star anise

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp cooking oil

Spice paste:

8 Asian shallot

4 cloves garlic

1 piece of ginger (1-inch)

Complement and Garnish:

lontong/ketupat (rice cakes)

2 bundles cellophane noodles, soaked in water

hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges

2 spring onions, chopped

3 Chinese celery, chopped

lemon wedges

perkedel (potato cakes)

fried shallot flakes

How to Fix

  • Put the chicken pieces in a stockpot. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the chicken for 5 minutes. Then dump the water and chicken pieces into the sink. Clean and scrap the pot from any residue. Rinse the chicken under running water. Drain.
  • Put 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock and chicken pieces in the stock pot. Put the fennel seeds, white poppy seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and ground nutmeg in the muslin cloth and wrap it. Tie it up to secure. Add the wrapped spices into the pot. Bring the stock to a rolling boiling over high heat. Lower the heat to simmer.
  • Add salt and ground pepper. Skim off any scum. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken from broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Discard the bones and skin.
  • Cook the cellophane noodle in hot boiling water for about 1 minute or until transparent and soft. Then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain. Set aside.
  • Use a food processor to process the shallot, garlic and ginger to a paste. Heat 2 tablespoon of cooking oil over high heat. Then stir in the spice paste. Stir-fry over medium-high heat for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Transfer cooked spice paste into the broth. Continue to simmer about 10 minutes. Then add the evaporated milk. Simmer for a couple minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Divide the cellophane noodles in individual serving bowls. Add perkedel (potato cakes), hard boiled egg, lontong (rice cakes), chicken. Ladle hot boiling broth over the noodles and its complements. Garnish with spring onions, Chinese celery, fried shallot flakes, lime wedges. Enjoy it hot with some hot chili sauce.


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