Fried Rice from Suriname

Fried Rice from Suriname served with pickles, banana and an thinly sliced omelet.

I love to do cooking demonstrations. Last weekend I gave a food demonstration at Pasar Colors at the Dutch Huishoudbeurs at Rai Amsterdam; one of the biggest fairs in Holland. I do this every year. I made fried rice from Suriname.

I get lot of feedback about the food I make. I tell on stage, with a camera projection behind me, how I make Indonesian or Asian food and how easy and healthy it is. I also make a snack for the people who listen to my performance.

Suriname

Last Saturday was themed ‘Suriname’. Suriname is a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines. The country has a big community of Javanese people from Indonesia too. They have kept their own food and traditions but also use in their food local herbs and spices from the region. That’s why I love to make fried rice (nasi goreng) Suriname style. It tastes just a bit different than nasi goreng from Indonesia.

Less meat

Chef Ottolenghi uses meat to season dishes and not always as the main ingredient. That is what I like to do too with this fried rice too. I add some tofu to compensate for the meat I do not use.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams of cooked basmati rice (from the day before)
  • 1/2 slice of thick bacon
  • 1/2 block of tofu
  • 200 grams of cooked peas
  • 100 grams of peeled shrimps
  • three teaspoons of tomato paste
  • half a leek
  • two tablespoons of sliced ​​onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • half chili pepper (or more)
  • a handful of flat parsley or celery

Herbs

  • 1/2 teaspoon of trassi (fermented shrimp paste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of pimento
  • 4 cm of fresh ginger
  • 1,5 tablespoon salty soy sauce (kecap asin)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • pepper and salt

Extra’s

  • pickles
  • thinly sliced ​​omelette
  1. Cut the bacon (I use a thick slice) into cubes and fry them well in a hot pan (without oil). Let the fat run out well, so that becomes the basis for your rice.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, fresh ginger (chopped finely), trassi, chili pepper and leeks and stir-fry well.
  3. Add the nutmeg and the pimento.
  4. Add both soy sauces and the tomato puree.
  5. Stir well and let the rice fry, so that it becomes golden brown.
  6. Season with a teaspoon of pepper and half a teaspoon of salt (taste if it is seasoned enough)
  7. Add the finely chopped parsley, peas and shrimps just before serving.
  8. Let the shrimps and the peas warm up, scoop on plates and serve with pickles and thinly sliced ​​omelet.

The thick bacon slice contains so many fat that the bottom of my pan is covered with a layer of bacon fat. That is fine because that is the only fat used in this recipe. The garlic, onions, trassi, ginger, pepper and leek fry well in this and absorb all the flavors really well.

Now the tofu can be added too. I cut the tofu into pieces and stir-fry them with the rest.

The onions caramelize and the tofu sucks up the lovely meaty flavors. I also add the tomato puree, the pimento, the nutmeg and the soy sauce now.

Basmati rice is the rice in Suriname that is widely used for a nasi. This rice, originally from India, has a long, narrow, dry grain. Because of this, this whole nasi goreng tastes different than my own Indonesian nasi goreng that I’ve made earlier on this blog.

The pimento, tomato puree, and peas also provide a typical Surinamese nasi goreng. But also in Suriname this fried rice is made in all kinds of ways and it is mainly, like in Indonesia, a dish (breakfast) made out of leftovers from the day before. So be creative. Do you have pea pods, Chinese cabbage or broccoli leftover add them too. Everything is possible.

I love this type of fried rice. It has depth in flavor because of the tomate puree. I love the green pearls in it and the delicious shrimps!

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