Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad that consists of at least two vegetables served with a peanut sauce, crunchy tofu and boiled eggs. The name literally means “Mix Mix”. I learnt to cook this at a Balinese cooking class in Ubud, earlier this year, but I’ve since developed my own ‘cheat’ version, which saves a lot of time and effort!
In the original recipe, you have to deep fry peanuts until golden, grind these in a mortar and pestle, along with other ingredients, to make a paste, before heating said paste with coconut milk and soy sauce.
In my version, you just fry off garlic, chilli and ginger in a pan and add crunchy peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut milk and lime juice. Granted it might not taste quite the same, but I just can’t bring myself to go to all that hassle for the sake of a bit of sauce.
So yeah. I cheat.
If you’re a vegetarian travelling in Indonesia, you will be eating this a lot! Though I never ate two Gado Gado dishes that looked or tasted the same whilst I was in Bali, so it seems that everyone does it a little differently. I think there’s also different styles of Gado Gado depending on where you are in Indonesia.
And if you’re vegan, you can just make this without the egg.
It doesn’t really matter what veggies you use either, so just choose to suit your preferences. This recipe includes the veg I used on this particular occasion, but I tend to just cook whatever needs using up!
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
For the peanut sauce:
- 2 heaped tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
- 1 red chilli
- 1/2 inch of ginger, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- A few tablespoons of coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp oil
For the rest:
- 1 handful of shredded red cabbage
- 1 handful of thinly sliced carrots
- 1 handful sugar snap peas
- 1 spring onion
- 1 handful cold, boiled potatoes (sliced)
- 200g tinned bamboo shoots
- Peppers and radishes (optional)
- 2 boiled eggs
- 100g tofu, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp oil
In a pan, heat the oil on a low heat and cook the minced garlic, chilli and grated ginger until fragrant. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut milk and lime juice, along with the sugar. Heat until the peanut butter melts a little and the sugar has dissolved. I prefer my sauce quite thick, so I use very little coconut milk, but you can add as much coconut milk as is needed to achieve the desired consistency.
In a frying pan, on a high heat, fry the cubes of tofu in oil until browned and crispy. When it’s nearly done, boil or steam the vegetables for a few minutes until tender (not including the boiled potatoes, the radishes or the spring onion).
Serve the veg, tofu, cold boiled potatoes and boiled egg all together, topped with peanut sauce. Decorate with slices of radish and sprinklings of finely chopped spring onion. Serve with a wedge of lime.