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Surinamese Bakkeljauw with Kouseband & Mme. Jeanette Pickle

28 January 2023

Bakkeljauw is a salted and dried white fish and kouseband is a type of long bean. In the Netherlands it’s a well known dish you can get at most Surinamese-Indonesian toko’s and Rob and I absolutely love it. Spicy, savoury, sweet, fragrant, what’s not to love! Amazing with pickled cucumber and Mme Jeanette for some zing and extra spice. We usually eat bakkeljauw with rice and the beans but it’s also great on a fresh white crusty bread roll.

Surinamese Bakkeljauw with Kouseband & Mme. Jeanette Pickle

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Dinner, lunch Surinamese
By Saffron Serves: 2 + extra for the next day
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes


  • The bakkeljauw
  • ± 450 g Bakkeljauw Filet
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 white onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp bakkeljauw trafasie (see notes)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp trassi (I used the Indonesian version)
  • 1 tsp (brown) sugar, more to taste
  • 1/2 Mme Jeanette, left in 1 piece
  • 1 maggi stock cube
  • 100 ml water
  • The beans
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300 g long beans, chopped into bitesize pieces (see notes)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp djahé (ginger powder) - optional
  • 1 tsp kurkuma - optional
  • Pepper & Salt to taste
  • Pickled Mme. Jeanette and cucumber
  • 1.5 Mme Jeanette chilis, finely chopped, seeds left in
  • Half a cucumber, ribbonned, seeds discarded
  • 6 tsp sugar (divided)
  • White vinegar
  • Water


The bakkeljauw


Start by chopping or tearing the salted fish into smaller pieces and boil in a large pot of water to desalt the fish, 15 minutes.


Drain the fish and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Set aside.


Heat the oil in a large pot or frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Sauté until just starting to caramelise, ± 5 minutes.


Add the bakkeljauw and stir to mix well. Sauté for another 5 minutes until golden brown.


Add the trafasie and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients: tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, maggi stock cube, trassi, Mme. Jeanette and water.


Bring to a simmer en let bubbel away on low heat for ± 10 minutes.


If the mixture stays too wet continue to cook a bit longer with the lid off until you have your desired consistency.

The pickles


Add the Mme Jeanette into a sealable jar.


Add 3 tsp of sugar, top off with ± 4 tbsp of vinegar and the same amount of water.


Seal the jar, shake and set aside.


Do the same with the cucumber.

The long beans


Sauté the onions and garlic in some vegetable oil, ± 2 minutes.


Add the beans and sauté for another 10 minutes on medium heat while you keep stirring.


Half way through sprinkle over the ginger and kurkuma.


Taste and season with pepper and salt to your liking.


  • You can get Bakkeljauw Trafasi at your local Asian or Surinamese toko's, and in some supermarkets. The brand I use is called Faja Lobi.
  • If you can't find long beans you can use regular green beans, just make sure to not overcook them, they're best with a bit of a bite.

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