The Javanese from Surinam are immigrants whose descendants were transported by the Dutch colonizers from the Dutch Indies (Indonesia). Despite this unusual migration across continents, there can not be spoken about a Surinamese cuisine if the contribution of the Javanese is ignored. The far east in South America is so firmly anchored in society, in a way that the Javanese food and healthy snacks are eaten by Indians, Maroons, Creoles and Hindus and every other ethnicity. This meal for me is a chicken soup for any special occasion. There are so many garnishes that your guests will be flattered by the amount of preparation you did. Do not feel overwhelmed by this saoto recipe, the preparations can be done in less than 20 minutes!

One half organic chicken
vegetable oil
1 chopped onion
4 gloves chopped garlic
4 litres of chicken stock
1 branch lemon grass
1 bunch celery
1 teaspoon galangal
2 salam leaf (Indonesian bay-leaf)
1 cup potato sticks
1 cup Indonesian fried onions
4 hard boiled eggs
3 cups cleaned bean sprouts
4 cups cooked rice
sweet soy sauce
black pepper

Step 1
Wash the chicken with vinegar or lemon and bring to a boil. Remove the chicken from the pan when the chicken is cooked inside and place on a plate to cool off.
Add sunflower oil to the soup pot and sauté the garlic and one minute. Pour in the chicken stock with the lemon grass, celery, galangal and salam leaf.

Step 2
Pluck the flesh of the cooked chicken apart and add the leftover chicken carcass in the soup pan, cook for 90 minutes. Heat vegetable oil and bake the chicken with some salt and pepper until its brown and crunchy. The Indonesian fried onions and potato sticks can be bought or made by thinly slicing the potato/onion and deep frying it. Halve the boiled eggs.

Step 3
Put some of the bean sprouts, rice, fried onions, potato sticks, baked chicken, half egg and some fresh celery in a soup bowl. Add the chicken stock to the bowl and serve with the sweet soy sauce if desired!

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Paramaribo, Suriname
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