Revive your tastebuds with Soto!
Main image top: Soto Mie.
Above: Soto Ayam (chicken) served in coconut shell bowls.
Below: There are many different sambal sauces or relishes to try with your soto recipes
Sensational soto toppings and sambals..
Soto is much more than just a soup - it's a meal in itself. Part of the enjoyment is to add some delicious toppings just before serving. These include sliced crispy, crunchy shallots that have been lightly fried and the oil drained away, a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives and small cubes of fresh tomato plus a squeeze of lemon. The result? A great texture and taste combination.
Soto and sambal go together perfectly and there are so many wonderful combinations. Try a basic sambal (relish) as it's easy to make: boil up to 10 red chillies for 7 mins, drain, grind, add 20 ml water plus salt to taste; mix well and serve with the soto soup. Shrimp paste and/or anchovies, garlic, ginger and lemon grass are other popular ingredients. Most regions of Indonesia have their own favourite sambal recipe.
Winter warmth from 'summer' flavours
As you start 2020 - whether contemplating your future or starting something new - there's no better way to stimulate the braincells on a cold grey winter day with a sunny, tasty bowl of flavour. That's Soto.
This hearty, lively soup dish is enjoyed across Indonesia's Spice islands in many different flavour combinations. There's a Soto for everyone: meat, chicken, fish, vegetarian and vegan. It's easy to make and ideal for freezing in batches - a dish that can come to your rescue when those unplanned visitors drop by or sudden hunger pangs appear.
Above: Soto Makassar served with rice noodles.
Below: a selection of key ingredients commonly used for Soto include fresh ginger, red and green chilli peppers, garlic and tomatoes. Adding lemon juice will help generate an extra layer of flavour.
Bottom right: grinding boiled red chillies to make sambal. You can also use a food processor.
Photo credits: Nita Strudwick