Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to Make Gado-Gado

Gado-Gado is a popular Indonesian salad found at many gerobuks, food courts, and restaurants here in Jakarta.  It consists of boiled vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, carrots, and green beans and is covered in copious amounts of peanut sauce, then topped with fried shallots, fried tofu, fried shrimp crackers, and a hard boiled egg.  The sauce is delicious but in small quantities - typically Jeff and I prefer to pick out the veggies that escape the flood.  Of course I had to try it at home and put a little healthier twist on it.

Peanut sauce ingredients

  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup green beans cut into 1" lengths
  • 1/4 head cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs sliced (if desired)
  • Sauteed tofu (if desired) 
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 finger length chilies (mild), deseeded and sliced
  • 1 bird's-eye chili (spicy), deseeded and sliced
  • 1" fresh kencur root, peeled and sliced (substitute ginger since this may be hard to find)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 3 T kecap manis (sweet soy sauce - substitute regular soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 t fresh lime juice 
  1. Make the peanut sauce by coarsely grinding the peanuts, garlic, chilies, and kencur in a food processor.  Add a little water if needed to keep the mixture turning.  
  2. Add the peanut mixture, lime leaf, kecap manis, salt, and water to a saucepan and simmer on low for about 1 hour stirring every 5 minutes or so.  Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
  3. Blanch the vegetables in salted, boiling water for the following times: green beans - 5 mins, cabbage - 3 mins, carrots and bean sprouts - 2 mins, and spinach - 1 min.  Add them to the pot in order listed so they are finished at the same time.  Remove from heat and drain well.
  4. Arrange the salad on a serving dish and top with a few spoonfuls of the Gado-Gado sauce.  Add eggs and/or tofu.  Serve the remaining sauce on the side for those that want extra.  Selamat makan (bon appetit)!

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