Javanese-Inspired “Chicken” Soup (Vegan Soto Ayam)

by on February 27, 2012
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Javanese-Inspired "Chicken" Soup (Vegan Soto Ayam): The perfect vegan alternative when you want a break from the traditional "chicken" soup.

I haven’t properly been teaching my daughter to cook. Or at least that’s how I felt after reading an article in the New York Times about a mother who has her 10- and 14-year-old sons cook dinner on their own once a week. When I read the article a few weeks ago, my first, defensive thought was, “Impossible! E would cook lasagna every single week.” My second and more disturbing thought was, “Could I really relinquish control of the kitchen and trust that E wouldn’t burn down the house or sever an artery?” The sad truth of the matter is that, other than teaching her the two easy dishes she makes for herself after school (baked potatoes and pasta and vegetables with basil and olive oil), I’ve done very little to prepare my almost 15-year-old to cook on her own.

I’ve always been a big proponent of letting kids help with the cooking, and I found early on that E would often be more eager to eat vegetables if she’d had a hand in making them. But as she’s gotten older and homework takes up more of her time, she just isn’t in the kitchen with me as much as she used to be. And frankly, because I’m constantly under pressure to create new dishes to blog about, I’ve never even considered handing over the cooking duties to either my husband or my daughter. Dinner every night is an opportunity for me to experiment and create, and though I often don’t experiment or create anything new, there’s still that possibility (our dinner is often late because I’ve waited until the last minute to cook, hoping inspiration will hit).

Still, I think it’s important that E get more experience in the kitchen. She was 8 when I started this blog, which feels like 10 minutes ago, so I’m sure that the next time I look up from my computer she’ll be off to college. (Time works like that when you have kids.) So I mentioned the idea to her a few weeks ago, and she was all for it. We settled that Saturday would be her night to cook, but between trips out of town and a teenager’s active social life, we didn’t get a chance to do it until this Saturday, when E brought to my attention that it was her night to cook. Lasagna, of course. Oops. I’d totally forgotten about our arrangement, hadn’t bought lasagna noodles, and had bean sprouts that were going to go bad if I didn’t use them in the Indonesian soup I’d been planning. So we compromised. I made the soup while E made a favorite dish of hers, inari sushi.

Inari Sushi

Inari, photo, and food styling by E

It took me about 30 seconds to explain to E how to prepare inari, which is something she always begs me to make but which I rarely do. Despite my qualms about their nutrition (I squeeze out as much of the oil- and sugar-laden marinade as possible), I keep a can of inari wrappers in the pantry precisely because E puts them into my shopping cart whenever she sees them at the Asian market. I set her to work chopping carrots and avocado, and by the time I had finished making my soup, she’d already filled each of the inari pouches with seasoned rice and vegetables, arranged them on plates, and taken their photo.

Japanese sushi and Indonesian soup don’t sound like they’d make a good combination, but they did. I was inspired to make this flavorful soup by a “Note from the Editor” in the current issue of Cooking Light. Editor Scott Mowbray’s description of one of his favorite comfort foods, soto ayam, an Indonesian chicken soup, had me intrigued: “a gingery curried broth, made yellow with turmeric and tart with lime.” Since the article didn’t include a recipe, I took to the internet and found that there are as many versions of soto ayam as there are regions of Indonesia. In the end, I eliminated those that relied on coconut milk, since it wasn’t mentioned in Mowbray’s description, and took the common elements from the other recipes (minus the chicken, obviously, and the hard boiled eggs) and Americanized them when necessary. All called for lemongrass, which I currently don’t have, so I substituted lime zest. Fresh turmeric and galangal would have been preferable, but both are rarely available here, so the dried, ground versions had to do. And instead of chicken, I used the remarkably similarly textured soy curls, a product made solely of non-GMO organic soybeans that have somehow been stretched into strands and dried. The result was an incredibly satisfying soup with a nice kick of ginger. My husband and I spiced up our bowls with sambal oelek, a hot chili paste, but E enjoyed the mildness of the unadulterated soup. But what she appreciated most was the inari, made with her own hands.
Javanese Inspired "Chicken" Noodle Soup

Javanese-Inspired "Chicken" Soup (Vegan Soto Ayam)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Though soy curls are perfect in this soup, if you can't find them you can use strips of baked tofu, tempeh, or seitan. For a very natural version, consider edamame or, if soy is not an option, chickpeas.
Serves: 6
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 shallot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, (about 1 1/2 inch)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon galangal powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups soy curls, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 vegetable bouillon cubes (enough to flavor 4 cups of water), if not using broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 4 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 ounces thin rice noodles (vermicelli) or cellophane noodles
  • Lime slices
  • 4 green onion, sliced
  • Sweet Indonesian soy sauce (kecap manis) or gluten-free tamari
  • Sambal oelek or other hot chili sauce
  1. Place garlic, shallot, ginger, turmeric, galangal, coriander, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until ground into a paste.
  2. Heat a non-stick soup pot over medium heat (spray with cooking oil if it is not non-stick). Add the paste and stir fry until fragrant, about a minute. Add the water or broth, along with the soy curls and bouillon cubes, if using.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Turn heat to very low and keep warm while you prepare the bean sprouts and noodles.
  4. While the soup is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bean sprouts and cook for one minute after the water returns to a boil. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Return the water to a boil and add the rice noodles. Cook according to package directions (about 3-5 minutes for rice vermicelli). Drain in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
  5. Just before serving, add the lime peel to the soup and add salt to taste. To serve, place some rice noodles and bean sprouts into a bowl and ladle the broth and soy curls over them. Sprinkle with green onions, and serve with wedges of lime, sweet soy sauce or tamari, and hot chili sauce.
To make this even heartier, add cooked brown rice and finely shredded cabbage to each bowl.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 150 Fat: 2.3g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 510mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 8g

Take a break from ordinary vegan chicken soup with this Javanese-inspired meal-in-a-bowl with a broth richly spiced with ginger, garlic, and turmeric.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) February 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I was just thinking today that I need to let my oldest (she’s 12) begin to start making meals from scratch. I kid you not! It was suggested to me by a reader in a comment I received on my blog, about how her boys, 10 and 14, make dinner. It is so hard for me to let go . . . but I know that I need to do it. She doesn’t naturally have the inclination to cook and I worry that she will go off into the world and be a junk foodie or something, when at home she has all of the deliciousness of the no-oil vegan world at her fingertips. Ahhh, the trials and tribulations of parenting.

BTW, the soup (and inari!) look delicious!


2 Leilani February 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This sounds brilliant. Just what I’ve been looking for to mix up my rut! Thanks


3 Ryann @ MyWholeDeal February 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Yum! My husband and I just discovered Pho and this looks like a lovely variation on the theme! And sweet brown rice would be a delicious way to pop this soup into the full-on meal category. Can’t wait to try it!


4 alua February 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm

If you go to Latin America or Asia (and probably Africa too, but I haven’t been), you’ll see 6 year olds cooking the entire meal, and not a simplified dish either.

You’ve just got to teach them, and give them responsibility, rather than just be scared of it.

My mother never let me or my sister cook (she prefers her kitchen clean and unused), and didn’t teach us either. I taught myself when I went to boarding school (at 16) and hated the food there. Nowadays, both my sister and I will do most of the cooking when at my parents’, in fact, despite the fact that our mother tried to scare us off (sort of, indirectly), we’ll cook up a storm: bake bread, cook lunch, bake cake, make yoghurt, make soy milk, grind coffee…

Tell your lovely daughter those inari look YUM! I’m going to have to make those SOON!


5 Lucia February 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I have been enjoying following your blog since finding it a month or so ago. Was tickled to see a recipe that featured soy curls — I just love them and am personal friends with the producers of this awesome product :).

I use soy curls in so many different ways – they sure are versatile! Stir fry, chicken noodle soup, chili, sauteed with onions as a side dish for brown rice, etc. Thanks for your new ideas!


6 Melody February 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Although my three year old and 6 week old daughters are (clearly) too young to start cooking on their own, your idea to have E cook on her own is a great idea and one I will start with my own daughters when they are older. Your post did remind me that I can have my three year old help in the kitchen though. I tend to not include her in the kitchen because I’m usually in a rush to get a meal prepared, but when given the chance she loves to cut soft foods like tofu or fruit with her kiddie knife and do things like stir and mash. From now on I’m going to have her do some task in the kitchen at least once a day. I think including kids as much as possible in the kitchen is so important and I thank you for bringing this to our attention πŸ™‚


7 Crissie February 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I’m right there with you. I realized in November that my husband can’t cook, and my kids are heading on the path of leaving home unable to cook anything healthy for themselves. I mandated that the older two cook dinner at least once a month. My eldest has done well, my 14 yr old son….not so much.


8 Betty A. February 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

It’s a non-food comment: the format of your blog has changed since the last time I visited and I’m sorry to say that it’s not as easy to read–the print is SO small.


9 Susan Voisin February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi Betty, I’m sorry to hear its hard to read, though it’s been almost two years since I’ve made any changes. All browsers have ways to increase the size of the text, so I hope you can use that to make it more readable.


10 Betty A. February 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thanks Susan==I’ll try that.


11 Ginger February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Cooking with my children was one of the highlights of my mothering career. Cleaning up afterwards took a close second. Time in the kitchen is wonderful and bonding. Enjoy it as much as you can before she heads off to college. After that your time with her will likely be hit and miss, limited at best.


12 Amber Shea @Almost Vegan February 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I love inari too, but haven’t bought them in years. Thanks for the reminder to grab a can.


13 tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations February 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

my DD9 scrambles eggs for breakfast, DD4 toasts the waffles, DS6 hops around and manages to get the butter on the table. Today we made pineapple simple syrup together and most every day they help out making dinner. So I figure by the time they are teenagers they will be doing all the cooking IF I get tired of cooking, because it’s one of my favorite things to do. On the other hand, if they like to clean the kitchen, do laundry, vacuum and dust, I wouldn’t mind at all they taking up on my job. :d


14 Miriam February 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I so enjoy visiting your blog, and have enjoyed even more the recipes you share with us! When I was about 12 (this was in the mid 70s) my parents decided all five members of the family (Mom, Dad, and kids aged 13, 12 and 6) would be responsible for cooking (and the clean-up!) one night a week. The youngest had help, and we all had rules about food groups. It meant a lot of repetitive meals (it’s Wednesday so it must be tuna casserole!) but it also meant all three kids left home knowing how to cook at least a few things. I’m sure E will never use a can of condensed mushroom soup in anything the way I did, and I’m equally sure the two of you will really enjoy the time you have together teaching and learning from each other!


15 Kale Crusaders February 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

You have demystified soy curls for me. I was wondering what all the hype was about.

Good luck teaching E to cook. I didn’t have much interest in cooking until I finished college and went veg. My mom and I now bond over our shared love of cooking and experimenting with new cuisines/ingredients/techniques. Mom loves your blog!


16 Rebecca Swanston February 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Wow that soup looks good! I wonder what my husband would want me to serve with it. He likes sandwiches with his soup, or quesadillas, so I’ll have to come up with something along that theme, that he’ll like.

When my mom went back to college, I was about 12. It took about a year before she got sick and tired of cooking and cleaning, and college. So, she made an announcement. My brother and I were going to make supper 2 nights a week each, and she would take up the other three. She had been cooking with us in the kitchen off and on since we were babes, so it was only a matter of us gaining the confidence of doing an entire meal ourselves. She said it didn’t matter if it was boxed mac n cheese or ramen, so long as it wasn’t her cooking!!!

I made a lot of salads!

Honestly, I think we both made a lot of that instant boxed food back then, with vegetables and bread to go with it. But that lesson has stayed with me. My daughter is 7, and is being taught how to make a batch of bread (for our family that means 5 loaves) on her own. I hope to have her making a whole meal within a few years. Yesterday the two of us made vegan hotdogs/sausage links. Today, my son (almost 5) did the same recipe of hotdogs. I let them both help me measure and mix, and wrap them.

My 18 month old has learned he is welcome (most of the time) to bring a chair over to the counter while I cook. We took the time to teach him HOW to place the chair properly for safety. I really like it when my kids take an interest in cooking, especially since we are vegetarian and I want them to make the choice to continue to eat that way when they are adults. If they KNOW how to cook good tasting food, without meat, I think they’ll be more likely to continue eating that way, rather than bending to the influence of other their peers.


17 Amber February 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I was always grateful that my mother had taken the time to teach me to cook very early on for several reasons – the biggest being that aside from cooking for a living at a local senior living facility, my mother ran her own catering business on the side, so she often needed help peeling potatoes or preparing pasta salads or baking cupcakes or assembling sauces. From the age of eight, I began cooking “cold prepared food” and then moved quickly to baking, roasting, and finally pan frying around age twelve. Also, I was a bit of a latchkey kid, so I honestly feel that my mom felt like I’d never get anything other than pasta in my system if I didn’t start cooking on my own.

That being said, I can completely understand how a parent might have a hard time getting their tween or teen to cook, and how worried you could be. I myself would definitely worry about the knife issue, as well as the pan frying (even without oil, it’s still an issue of a hot surface, potential liquid spatters and more!) issue.

That being said, I’ve been a long time reader of your blog (over a year now) and I rarely comment – but I think I might speak up a little more now. The Inari looks delicious, and while I don’t care for chicken or mock chicken soups, I have to admit, that looks extremely tasty.

Both you and E have a talent for presentation!


18 KathyF February 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

My mother in law, who sews and quilts, told me once that sewing skips a generation. Mothers do all the sewing, so their children don’t have to, but the grandchildren may pick it up. Which is exactly what happened in my house. I extrapolated that to cooking: I did all the cooking at my house from age 15, since my mother didn’t enjoy it and that’s when she got a full time job. Neither of my daughters showed much interest in cooking, until a few years ago when my youngest became very interested. Now she loves to cook Japanese food, and she’s made inari for us several times!

So when I read that your daughter chose inari to cook, I laughed. Very much the same at our house!


19 Johanna GGG February 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

this soup looks lovely – I’ve never seen soy curls in Melbourne but I have recently found how much we all love endamame so may try that. I loved hearing about your daughter and your thoughts on getting her involved in the cooking – seems amazing she is 15 – yours is one of the first blogs I stumbled upon before beginning blogging myself so I feel like she has grown in the blink of an eye too! I also must see if my favourite asian shop sells the inari wrappers – never thought to do them at home


20 Ellen (Gluten Free Diva) February 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

As an Early Childhood person, I can tell you how important it is to involve kids from an early age. And even if it’s lasagna every week, it’s a good thing, even just from a responsibility standpoint. So, go you!!!!


21 moonwatcher February 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hi Susan,

This soup sounds really apprealing to me. I don’t think we have soy curls at our co-op, but I have edamame in the freezer, so next time I’m there I’ll pick up a lime and some bean sprouts and be all set. Got the noodles already I think. My trick with those kinds of noodles and veggies that need to be lightly steamed is on from my “lazy girl” files. πŸ™‚ I put the kettle on the burner, put the noodles and whatever veggies I want blanched in a big stainless steal bowl and when the water comes to the boil, I just cover them with water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. This might be too much for the bean sprouts, though, so they could go in in the last 1-2 minutes. Then I strain and put in the bowl.

On another note, I loved the writing in this post an the narrative about how and when and in what way to teach our children to cook. Reminded me of my Mom’s always saying she wanted me to experiment and learn because my grandmother never let her. She would tell me, if you can read, you can cook–and NOW look at me. lol E always comes to such vibrant life in your descriptions. I can just see her throwing those inari into the basket at the Asian grocer, and how quickly she made and “shot” her own finished product. You “capture” her in words rather than in a photo here, as well as the tempo of your life, and your own reflections and process with this. I’m sure many many mothers can relate. I am glad to report Mike has become quite the enthusiastic cook over the years. Your blog is among the sites he regularly seeks recipes and inspiration. Thanks!




22 Marianne February 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The Javanese soup looks amazing! Having lived in Asia for a few years I most appreciate food that not only tastes wonderful but looks enticing. Your photos are certainly inspiring.

When my two sons were really little they would grocery shop with me. I would have them pick items from my shopping list and get them to fill the grocery basket. If there were coupons they got the amount for themselves. By ten and eleven they were planning two summer suppers a week, helping pick out the ingredients, and cooking. We did have some interesting experiments but it all led to learning how to cook. Today, they’re each great cooks. Their wives are happy and their kids are learning to cook. Best of all, my grandchildren are developing really happy and healthy palates! I say the more the merrier in the kitchen! Have fun together!


23 Erica February 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

my mom always said “8’s the age”. at 8 we were allowed to handle knives and use mom’s sewing machine. i never burnt down the kitchen πŸ™‚


24 Alex February 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

As a college student, I have to say that while I never had any (ANY) interest in cooking as a kid, kids who learn to cook will probably thank their parents one day as they get out into the world and meet a plethora of adults learning for the first time. I don’t blame my parents for not teaching me, given how much I was afraid of getting burned and general state of tedium I was in whenever cooking, obviously, but as an adult I wish I had shown more interest.


25 May February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I come from Indonesia and your soup look so authentic!! Yumm! Indonesian Soto Ayam usually don’t use turmeric and galangal in it, in Malaysia and Singapore they add turmeric to this soup. And lemon grass is crucial, and kaffir lime leaves too. You can also add sliced tomato and sliced boiled potato. For something crunchy, we sometimes add thinly sliced fried potato too (slice potato thinly, pour boiling water to the potato, leave it stand for few minutes and fry, crunchiness guaranteed!!) πŸ™‚ And Soto Ayam is always a clear soup, no coconut added, if you add coconut, that will be another kind of soto, which Indonesia has many different kind varieties of…. but soto ayam is always a favorite :):)


26 Pat February 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

oh my gosh, I could eat my computer screen it looks so good! that sushi is to die for! this kind of food is my fav anyway. I have to get busy and start making your recipes. I have gotten very lazy because I don’t know what to make, and I still have to cook “old school’ for my husband. I will get on the food train, get a plan and get going!
Getting your kids to cook is great, and definately a must. Unfortunately I was a frozen chicken nugget mom-so embarrassed-and now they (young adults) still want to eat that way! yuck!


27 Hope March 1, 2012 at 5:49 am

my girls’ favourite thing in the world is inari sushi! I bought some sheets of tofu a couple weeks ago but got no further. Thanks for the great idea.


28 Dawn March 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

Hi Susan–more wisdom from you. Thanks! I have been cooking from an early age like many of your readers. But of course I started with things like cookies. Moved on to rice and pasta. I mean that is just boiling water–had help with hot pots on the stove. But if you have rice cooker–wow that’s done. Then before I moved out I asked my mom to show me a few things.
I think cooking is a life skill that every child should learn. Kudos to you and E!
p.s.–I am going to the Japanese grocery store near me to search out Inari. Can’t wait to eat them!


29 veganlinda March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

A couple weeks ago, I realized our eldest (now 12) hasn’t been in the kitchen much. He used to be there all the time, but now it is our four year old who is doing all the cooking. I decided to give one weekend night a week to our eldest. He is supposed to cook the entire meal and he hates following recipes so we’ll see what we get. My mom cooked a lot and was know for her fabulous food, but when I moved out (even after years of spending time in the kitchen with her) I was clueless on how to do more than put a frozen dinner in the microwave. You are giving your daughter such a gift!


30 referencegirl March 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Any idea where one might buy Soy Curls? I live in a fairly large city with access to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Asian/Indian and global food markets. Just need a clue as to the type of store I should try and what area of the store to look in. Thank you.


31 Susan Voisin March 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Try Whole Foods. I buy them in bulk in our local natural food store. If they don’t have them in bulk, ask someone. They are a dry product and will be on the shelves somewhere (not refrigerated).


32 Abra March 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I couldn’t find them either but used 5 Spice Tofu Nuggets found in the refrigerator section in our store. They were amazing!! Had a hard time getting them into the pot as they tasted so good πŸ™‚ They are made by


33 Silly Sally March 2, 2012 at 2:04 am

Loved your post! I’m amazed you made all the seasoning yourself! I’m actually from Indonesia and I always get the instant seasoning :))


34 Tash March 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm

In all earnesty i would recommend the 10-12 year old range for allowing your children to cook, i first started cooking in my household when growing up when i was 8 years old, because my step mum was completely useless in the kitchen and the best dish my dad managed was scrambled eggs(in the microwave) with toast. I got so fed up with waiting to see my mum on the weekends for “REAL” rood that i decided I would take up the job of cooking the dinner, no one objected as that meant they now didn’t need to bother. Back then i was cooking simpler meals like spaghetti bolognese, meat and 3 veg and beef stroganoff, by the time i was 12 i had mastered the roast and proper soups and potato bakes, salads and a few different cakes and cookies and hard boiled toffee’s. Due to my exceptionally lazy stepmother i learnt to do all of these “motherly things” myself, including washing the clothes and doing dishes and making sure my younger brothers had everything they needed for school. One thing i can say is, that because i had to learn to cook as i went i learnt how fun it was and creative (I’m a creative being so anything that uses the imagination wins with me) i LOVED cooking and finding new ways to hide what i loved but my brothers hated in meals VEGETABLES, cutting them up finely or grating them into sauces, back then i wasn’t vegan or even vegetarian, i lived in a very meat loving family, although i think my body has always been vegan, even the slightest farm animal noise when i was eating meat would make it unbearable for me to even deal with the smell of meat for 2 months , this happened a lot when i was younger and did all the way up to becoming a vegan. I’m 23 now and i can say i LOVE cooking and i LOVE experimenting with food and tasting new recipes BUT I’m also a really bad kitchen hog, my point being ..when i have children i think 10-12 years old will be my choice for learning to cook πŸ™‚


35 moonwatcher March 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hi again Susan–

I loved this! I made mine with lemon grass, because I had some in the freezer. I also used rice sticks I had that were thicker than yours, and shelled edamame also in my freezer. No soy curls in Moscow Idaho at this time. πŸ™‚ Reading the comments about adding cabbage and rice gave me the idea to cup up a few brussel sprouts I had on hand. Then I julienned a bit of carrot too. I put all this in the steamer after having steamed some kale to add to my salad. I thought I would turn it on again, but just sitting it all in the warm steamer made the veggies perfect. At the last minute I added the bean sprouts and a bit of cut of slow cooked sweet potato to the steamer just to warm it up. I cooked my rice sticks the lazy way, but pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit in it for 5 minutes. Then I added all this to the bowl and poured the broth (with edamame in it) over it. Since I am one of those genetically disposed to love cilantro, I of course added that and chopped green onion. For my seasonings, I added a bit of lime juice, a bit of coconut aminos, and a dash or two of Thai sweet red chili sauce. Oh, also, I make a Pad Thai sauce I adapted from Happy Herbivore that I dab on things. My version is 1/2 tbs of miso, 1/2 tbs of peanut butter, some freshly grated ginger, 2 tbs of tamari, 1 tbs of Thai sweet red chili sauce and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. It’s yummy on lots of things. I dabbed that on too.

I made six cups of broth, using my β€œkitchen sink” veggie broth as the base. I will get 3 big bowls for myself from this. Second bowl today I decided to boil soba noodles instead of the rice sticks. I added a few frozen sugar snap peas to those while they were cooking. I steamed the brussel sprouts, carrots and bean sprouts. No sweet potato this time. I really liked it with the soba noodles and think I’ll do that again. Less authentic, more fusion, but still good, and fun. I didn’t think to take a picture until it was almost gone.

I think this would also be good with Kathy Hester’s tea scented smoked tofu in Vegan Slow Cooker. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Thanks, this is really good!




36 Archana March 4, 2012 at 2:56 am

Thanks for the parenting lesson. Will get my 18 yr old in in possible( she is not agreeable to cooking eating yes) . Lovely soup and inari. These are new to me. Guess I will Indianize them.


37 Kevel88 March 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

This looks delicious! Your photography/choreography is so pleasing to the eye as well. Kudo’s. Will visit more often for great recipes.



38 Audrey March 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

This dish looks amazing! I wanted to try the inari but when I went to our Asian market the cans were $5 some were $7 is that normal? Seemed high to me and I don’t want to start and addiction I can’t afford. Thanks!


39 Susan Voisin March 5, 2012 at 8:06 am

That sounds too expensive to me! I’ll have to check next time I’m in the store, but I think I paid around $3 for mine.


40 Philippa Sonnichsen March 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I took a different path with my children. I didn’t ever expect my sons to cook on a regular basis. I love to cook, and I just didn’t want cooking to become a chore for them. They almost always helped when I needed them to, however. Now our 21-yr-old cooks his own vegan food, and we joyfully swap recipes (many of them yours!). Our younger son has become more interested in cooking now that he will be in an apartment next year. He makes a great vegan stir-fry even though he chooses not to be a vegan. I’ll bet E will become a marvelous cook and that you will share fabulous times in the kitchen together as she gets older. There are lots of successful approaches to parenting!


41 Paige March 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Thank you for another great recipe!

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! I substituted TVP chunks for the curls, and added that to the broth when it began to boil. The TVP picked up a lot of flavor and a nice texture.

Inspired by E’s inari, my son helped me assemble them while I finished the soup. Our inari was made using a mix of grains with dried yam that I picked up at my Asian grocery store.


42 Kristina March 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm

This was so good!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


43 Abra March 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

OMG!! I finally made this last night. It was so good. I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers at lunch today!! This is definitely a favorite. Thanks Susan πŸ˜›


44 Becca J March 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

This was super yummy, thank you.


45 Valerie (all mussed up) May 5, 2012 at 5:33 am

I grew up savouring Soto often, and this looks very authentic! Nicely done.

Every Indonesian city has its own variation on this classic dish, and it’s fun that you’ve made your own, too. (:


46 amy May 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hi there!
I just want you to know that i LOVE this recipe!! Our family of 6 started eating as non fat vegans about 2 months ago and your site is invaluable, my kids even visited it when we were out and surprised us with a yummy dinner! I also made your lemon pie the other day when we had a guest, but mostly i love this soup recipe and so does the whole family and when we have visitors we cook up a little shrimp for them to add and its great! thank you so much, have a great day!!


47 Sara May 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Thanks, this was delish! Subbed tabasco for chili sauce, and half an onion for the shallot. Also used chickpeas instead of soy curls in mine, and roasted chicken in everyone else’s. It was a hit all around!


48 Shona November 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Thanks FatfreeVegan for the lovely recipe. So tasty and moreish. I did add greens because I could 😊


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