Some of Suriname’s Favourite Recipes

Saoto Soup (Surinamese-Javanese)

Saoto soup originated as a Javanese dish, but since Suriname is a melting pot of many ethnicities, there are various ways to prepare this soup. It is also known as “Blauwgrond Soup” because it is sold in an area of Suriname, where people would go late at night on the weekends to get an after-party or movie snack or meal.

Some of Suriname's Favourite Recipes

Saoto Soup with boiled egg


± 3 liter water
600 gr chicken (1/2 chicken)
5 slices galanga root (laos)
4 cloves garlic, whole
1 onion (cut in half over the length)
1 stalk lemon grass (sereh)
1 Indonesian bay leaf (duon salam)
2 large bouillon cubes
5 pc whole allspice
1 tsp black and/or white pepper

 To garnish the soup

6 hard boiled eggs
300 gr beansprouts (taugé)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small can friend string potatoes
1 small pack bean thread vermicelli, fried) (soe-on)
fried onions and garlic
3 cups of cooked shredded chicken breast
1 stalk celery & parsley (chopped)
1 pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet)
1 clove garlic
5 tbsp soy sauce, salted (for sambal ketjap, spicy soy sauce)


Soup: Boil the water in a large pot. Cut the chicken in large pieces, rinse and add to the water. Add the galanga, garlic, onion, lemon grass, Indonesian bay leaf, bouillon cubes, pepper and allspice. Remove the chicken after 30 minutes and let the soup cook for another hour on low heat. Add more bouillon or salt to taste.

Once the chicken has cooled off, shred the meat with your fingers or use forks (no chopper). Peel the eggs, rinse and clean the beansprouts. Fry the vermicelli, onion and garlic separately in hot oil. Keep all these ingredients in separate bowls.

Sambal ketjap (spicy soy sauce). Boil the whole pepper for a short time in the soup, scoop it out and chop it with the garlic before adding some sugar and soy sauce.

Serving the soup. In each soup bowl, add one boiled egg, some beansprouts, cabage, fried potatoes, onion/garlic, chicken, topped by vermicelli. Pour the hot soup on top and add celery/parsley. If you like to make it spicy, add some sambal ketjap.


Saoto soup can be consumed as an appetizer or as the main dish by serving with a bowl of steamed rice. Even though Saoto has many ingredients, some of those could be left out if preferred. Part of the preparation can also be done a day or two in advance.

Bojo Cake – Coconut and Cassava Cake from Suriname

Some of Suriname's Favourite Recipes

Bojo is a rich flourless cake made from grated coconut and cassava. Cassava is a starchy root plant, also known as manioc and yuca. Bojo is flavored with rum and cinnamon, and as is typical of many South American desserts – it’s both European and tropical at the same time. Dutch settlers in Suriname most likely learned to use local ingredients like cassava to make favorite foods from home.

This cake can be baked in a round or square pan. I like to make it in a graham cracker pie shell, which is not at all traditional. You can find peeled frozen cassava root at Latin food stores.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup rum
  • 1/2 pound peeled manioc root (with woody center removed)
  • 2 cups grated coconut ((fresh or dried)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Graham cracker pie crust (optional)


Soak the raisins in the rum (overnight if possible)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Butter a 9 inch round cake pan, or 9 inch square brownie pan, and line bottom of pan with wax paper or parchment

Finely grate the manioc root (easily done in a food processor). Stir the coconut and grated manioc root together with the cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, almond extract, and salt

Stir the liquid ingredients into the coconut mixture

Stir in the melted butter

Stir in the raisins and the rum

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (or graham cracker crust if using)

Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown on top

Run a knife around the edge of the pan while the cake is still warm, then let it cool in the pan

Cut into small squares or slices and serve

This cake is delicious warm or cold, with a dollop of whipped cream


Suggested Reading



scroll to top