Ohhhhh, gado gado. Love at first bite.
The name literally means ‘mix mix’ in Indonesian – it’s just a whole big mixed salad with a nice peanut dressing (the peanut dressing is da bomb. I’m not kidding).
When we traveled to Indonesia a few months ago, this was basically all I ate. The locals had millions of variations of it, which means that please feel free to experiment and use what ever you have in your pantry. As long as you have some steamed and fresh vegetables (cabbage and green (snake)beans being the most traditional) and the peanut sauce then you are good to go. I just make it with whatever I can find – and it works every time. Yes, this takes a bit of time and yes it takes a bit of ingredients but hell yes it is worth it.
Also, it makes an equally tasty dinner when served with rice. Highly recommended!
Serves 6 people
2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
2 cups of snake bean, cut into 5 cm lengths / greenbeans
125 g firm tofu, cut into planks
1 wedge kaffir lime / regular lime
1 hot chilli
1/2 cup water
½ Sweet potato, cubed
Red cabbage, shredder (optional)
Cucumber, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
Cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
For the sauce:
1 ½ cups fried peanut, shells on (roasted will do as well)
2 cloves garlic
1 lesser galangal (or galangal or small piece of ginger)
2 candle nuts (or macadamia or Brazil nuts)
4 Tbsp sweet soy sauce (Ketjap)
2 Tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp salt
To make the sauce, first slice the chili and remove the seeds. Blend the peanuts, candle nut, lesser galangal and chili until they form a thick smooth paste. Mix the paste with half a cup of water and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Mix in the sweet soy sauce, palm sugar, salt and squeeze in the lime. Taste and adjust seasoning
For the vegetables, begin by blanching the cabbage for less then a minute in boiling water. Then the snake beans – about three minutes. Steam the sweet potato cubes in a mesh sieve over a pot of boiling water until tender (lid on). Next, fry the tofu in coconut oil until crispy – this requires quite a lot of coconut oil.
Prepare all other vegetables, arrange on a plate and serve with the peanut sauce.