Friday 11 October 2013

Gado Gado (Indonesian Salad)

The post for Little Thumbs Up October: Soya Beans is here. Please go to this link to submit your posting. Thank you!
As a veggie and salad lover, the Gado Gado, a Indonesia salad, is one of my favourite salads of all time. I love the mix of ingredients, which could be any of your favourite vegetables. Mine top picks for Gado Gado would be long beans, potatoes, bean sprouts and fried bean curd and tempeh. I have seen other Gado Gado which uses cabbage, spinach and chayote - so its really up to your imagination. 

The best part about Gado Gado is undoubtedly the sauce - a thick, creamy and slightly tangy mixture of peanuts, tamarind juice, prawn paste, chilli and sugar.  In some versions, coconut milk is also added for texture fragrance and creaminess. In this recipe, I substituted ground cashew nuts for peanuts. It was very delicious as well given that cashews have a lovely flavour. Still I much prefer the peanut version. 

The toppings and garnish for the Gado Gado is a must and this could be fried shallots, boiled eggs and lots of crackers. The most delicious would be the slightly bitter Melingjo nut crackers (which is quite hard to find locally) or one can simply use fish crackers. The entire combination is simply divine!

Gado Gado (Serves 2-3)
Sauce recipe from here

  • 2 pieces of firm tofu (tau kwa), pan fried in a little oil
  • 1 piece of tempeh, pan fried in a little oil
  • 1 potato, sliced and boiled
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 50 g of bean sprouts, blanched
  • 150 g of long beans, blanched
  • Romaine leaves or Butterhead lettuce leaves
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Crackers
  • Fried shallots

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried shrimp paste
  • 3 red bird's eye chillis, cut up
  • 1/4 of palm sugar, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water over a slow fire
  • 1 cup of finely grounded roasted peanut (or 1 cup peanut butter) - I used 1 cup of grounded cashew nuts
  • 20 g of tamarind with 1/4 hot water, remove the seeds 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water, depending on desired thickness of sauce
  • Grind these ingredients with a mortar and pestle or in a blender until they’re smooth: salt, dried shrimp paste, red bird’s eye chilis, palm sugar 
  • Add finely ground roasted peanuts (or 1 cup of peanut butter) and grind it all some more until it’s mixed well. If you use peanut butter instead of ground roasted peanuts, add less salt because there’s salt in the peanut butter.
  • Add tamarind juice to the mixture. 
  • Add ½ to 1 cup of water and mix it well. Amount of water depends on how thick you want sauce to be.
  • Transfer the vegetables to a serving plate and pour the sauce on top of it or mix all the vegetables with the sauce in the mortar before serving.
This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake at this post.


  1. Wow.... this dish Gado Gado reminds me of my sister-in-law. Whenever we have family get together she will make this. I think the main ingredient in this dish is the sauce. It sure looks very flavourful and inviting.

  2. Thats salad dressing sounds very interesting. I can imagine the flavours in it & I am sure its yummy

  3. If I was there, I would definitely grab the pan-fried tofu, eggs & tomatoes first, hehe! Have a nice weekend!

  4. Oh oh my gosh... The preparation to go through for this dish.... I think I rather sit down at yours .... Yours look so appetizing

  5. Beautiful dish, Mich! Wish I could dig in! Yum!

  6. Mich this salad look absolutely delicious I love so much!

  7. Lovely spread. Look so tempting and delicious !

  8. Beautiful and very appetizing salad , Mich ! I'll check the sauce recipe :D

  9. What a delicious looking salad! More tofu for me please!

  10. I Love this salad and it contains less fat!

  11. I don't mind to have this as my main course. LIKE!

  12. I just LOVE this!! Perfect for me
    Lucky me I have all the ingredients at home right now :)

  13. looks delicious....just mouthwatering!

  14. Great salad to serve at party. Love this with lots of peanut sauce.

  15. sounds like a great sauce to complement the beautiful salad! looks very appealing to me !

  16. Hi Mich,

    I love Gado Gado... It is indeed a healthy salad with sweet spicy sauce. You have made yours looking so good :D


  17. Mmm... looks so yummy and healthy especially the sauce!

  18. Beautiful salad.. What an interesting dressing.. Need to try soon!

  19. I had a nice gado-gado in Bali, but my kids seem not a big fan of peanut sauce,, so can you buy me a plate please..yum yum..

  20. Mich, I love gado-gado! Everywhere I go, I am on a look out for good gado-gado. Must try your recipe!

  21. This salad looks filling, fresh and delicious. It is my favourite type of lunch. Very nice!

  22. Oh wow Mich, your gado gado looks terrific. I am salivating already. i wanted to try this long ago but have no time. You've tempted me. >o<
    Hope you're having a wonderful day.

  23. SO true. I always keep peanut sauce handy. I freeze it so I always have it. This looks seriously mouth watering Mich!

  24. Mich,
    I love gado-gado too. Love the sauce and the fresh veges.
    Yours looks so appetizing!

  25. OMG! My roommate back in college was Chinese Indonesian and she made this salad several times even though she wasn't much of a cook. I always enjoyed it and this is so good! I never imagined that I would be able to get the recipe. I'm very excited and happy right now! :D Pinned!

  26. Hi Mich, haven't eaten this for a long time.... yours look so appetizing. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Best regards.