Gado-gado is a vegetable salad with a peanut sauce dressing. It’s a nice vegetarian dish for during the hot summer days. For the meatlovers out there, you can serve this dish also with some fried chicken or try some fried mussels if you feel like having an exotic twist to it.
The ingredients to this dish isn’t hard to get by. Most of it can be found in your local grocery store. For the fried chicken or fried mussels I suggest you go to an Asian foodstore and go look for a bag of Finna Tempura, displayed in the right picture. There are other similar brands with the same effect. They come in spicy and non spicy flavors and they are easy to use.
- For the salad:
- mixed vegetables (cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber, chayote, water spinach, yardlong bean, spinach). Cauliflower, green beans, watercress, carrots, tomatoes, or peas are sometimes included but less common.
- deep fried soybean cake
- deep fried tempeh
- boiled eggs
- deep fried kerupuk (fish or prawn crackers)
- deep fried shallot
- For the peanut sauce(4 servings):
- 300 gr peanuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 shallot
- 1 gr terasi (fermented prawn paste)
- 125 gr Gula Jawa (Indonesian Palm Sugar)
- fresh or dried chili pepper
- fresh lime juice, orrice vinegar
- with kerupuk.
For the peanut sauce
- Fry prawn paste with cooking oil until fragrant
- Fry the peanuts until golden brown, remove from the pan and leave to cool, and drain off all but a little of the excess oil
- Grind the peanuts to make paste
- Add ground fresh chili pepper, garlic, salt, brown sugar and prawn paste to the peanut paste, grind to mix
- Put peanut paste in a pan, add some water to dissolve (use coconut milk for richer taste)
- Add some sugar into the peanut sauce to taste and bring to the boil
- Simmer peanut sauce until thick and season with the lemon or lime juice.
For the salad
- Hard-boil the eggs and slice
- Steam or boil the potatoes then remove the skin
- Deep fry the boiled potatoes until golden brown, then slice
- Wash, shred or chop cabbage, spinach and water spinach
- Boil water in a pan, put cabbage in boiling water until cooked, strain
- Use strained boiling water, boil spinach and water spinach, one after another, strain
- Blanche bean sprout for about 30 seconds, strain
- Peel chayote, wash, slice, and boil until tender
- Wash then slice cucumber
- Place the salad, sliced potatoes, fried tofu, fried tempeh, and eggs in a large plate, either randomly or in layers
- Pour the peanut sauce over the salad
- Spread deep fried shallots on top and serve with kerupuk.
Tips and variations
- Prawn crackers are non-vegetarian. You can substitute them with kerupuk sayur or emping if you wish this dish to be completely vegetarian.
- Put some kecap manis (Malay/Indonesian sweet soy sauce) to taste.
- You may substitute the peanut sauce recipe for the procedure here, by using peanut butter instead of peanuts.
- cashew nuts is secret ingredient to make peanut sauce tastes richer.
- Some cooks like to blanche or steam the cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots rather than serve them raw.
- Use chunky peanut butter as substitute for ground peanuts.
- Use chili sauce to substitute fresh or dried chili pepper.