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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
- 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.