Gado-Gado Recipe: A Flavorful Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce


Gado-Gado is a popular Indonesian dish that is beloved for its vibrant colors, fresh vegetables, and flavorful peanut sauce. Originating from Java, this traditional salad has become a staple in Indonesian cuisine. Gado-Gado is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish. In this article, we will guide you through the process of preparing a delicious Gado-Gado salad with a homemade peanut sauce.

For the Salad:
  • Assorted vegetables (cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, long beans, and spinach), blanched or steamed
  • Firm tofu, cut into cubes and fried
  • Hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Rice cakes (ketupat or lontong), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Fried shallots, for garnish
  • Shrimp crackers, for serving (optional)

For the Peanut Sauce:
  • 150 grams unsalted peanuts, roasted and finely ground
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, soaked in 2 tablespoons of warm water, strained to obtain tamarind juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt, to taste

  1. Prepare the vegetables by blanching or steaming them until they are tender but still crisp. Arrange them on a serving plate.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat some oil and fry the tofu until it turns golden brown. Remove the tofu from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Arrange the fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, and rice cakes on the serving plate alongside the blanched vegetables.
  4. To make the peanut sauce, heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the minced garlic and chopped red chilies until fragrant.
  5. Add the ground peanuts to the pan and stir well. Cook for a few minutes until the peanuts become aromatic.
  6. Pour in the tamarind juice, sweet soy sauce, palm sugar, and water. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly. Add salt to taste.
  7. Remove the peanut sauce from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  8. Pour the peanut sauce over the arranged vegetables, tofu, eggs, and rice cakes. Garnish with fried shallots.
  9. Serve Gado-Gado with shrimp crackers on the side, if desired.
Gado-Gado is a delightful combination of fresh and cooked vegetables, tofu, eggs, and a rich peanut sauce. It offers a balance of flavors and textures, making it a satisfying and healthy dish. The peanut sauce adds a creamy and nutty element that complements the vegetables perfectly. Gado-Gado is not only delicious but also a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your meal.

Feel free to adjust the ingredients and quantities according to your taste preference. Gado-Gado can be customized to suit your personal preferences, so feel free to experiment with different vegetables and toppings. Enjoy this Indonesian salad as a refreshing and flavorful dish that showcases the diversity of Indonesian cuisine!

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