Kitchen Globetrotter: Suriname Vegetable Salad with Coconut Dressing

This is one of many internationally flavored recipes that make up our Kitchen Globetrotter series. But this recipe comes from our new contributor, Heidi Larson of Foodie Crush fame. You’re going to want to check out her amazing recipes on her blog or follow along on Twitter or Instagram.

Suriname saladWhile many of us in the good old U S of A experience the exoticism of the tropics through the straw of an umbrella-adorned fruity drink while visiting the Florida Keys or at a lei-studded luau, well-heeled travelers know that tropical flavors need not be only fruity, nor solely sippable.

The South American country of Suriname is a small country.  In fact, Suriname’s Dutch-speaking population is equivalent to the size of Tuscon, AZ. But unlike water-starved Tuscon, the Caribbean climate of Suriname is sublimely tropical thanks to its pristine Amazonian rain forests and nature preserves.

The Suriname culture revels in its Indonesian and East Indian influences. Seafood, exotic fruits and typically farmed vegetables like potatoes, plantains and beans are prime ingredients in the country’s cooking and are main players in all degrees of sweetness and spice as main dishes, salads, and sides.

The cabbage and bean salad called Goedangan is one example of how Suriname’s tropical sweet flavors mix seamlessly with fresh vegetables. This fresh salad could be a side dish for spicy shrimp or served as a main dish with peanut sauce and extra helpings of hard boiled eggs. And if you’re a dressing freak like me, feel free to double it.

Goedangan Vegetable Salad with Coconut Dressing
lightly adapted from here the Dressing:
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 small jalepeño, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Juice of 1-2 limes, to taste
Pinch of salt

For the Salad:
½ small head of green cabbage, sliced thinly
½ small head of red cabbage, sliced thinly
8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
1 cup mung bean sprouts
3-4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 cucumber, sliced thin
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Make the Dressing:
Whisk together the coconut cream and yogurt. Stir in the sugar, coriander, lime juice, and salt. Add the minced jalapeño to desired spiciness. Chill until ready to serve.

salad surinameTo Make the Salad:
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the green cabbage and bean sprouts for 30 seconds. Transfer the cabbage and bean sprouts to the ice water bath then drain in a colander. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the green beans for 2-3 minutes or until just crisp-tender. Add the green beans to the ice bath, then transfer to the colander to drain. Bring the water to a boil and cook the purple cabbage for 30 seconds, plunge into the ice bath then transfer to another colander or paper towel covered plate to drain.

Arrange the vegetables on individual plates or a platter with the quartered hard boiled eggs. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with cilantro. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Thanks so much, Heidi! Any Surinamese readers out there? Or have you traveled there? What other recipes do you like?

photo credit M M and Noé Alfaro // cc

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