Originated from Indonesia, ‘gado-gado’ is the nation’s version of a salad and is a whole meal by itself. ‘Mix-mix’, the literal translation of the word, is made up of steamed or blanched vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, fried tofu, ‘tempeh’, and ‘lontong’ served with peanut sauce. It’s a vegetarian dish but it’s not suitable for those with a peanut allergy.
It is believed that gado-gado is a Sudanese dish and from Western parts of Java as it is more popular there. Nonetheless, each region in Indonesia has its very own version of the gado-gado recipe. For example, gado-gado in East Java is called ‘gado-gado siram’ or gado-gado Surabaya, whereby they would ‘siram’ (pour) the sauce onto the salad and garnish with fried shallots. Different from the ones sold in West Java, where they would mix the spiced concoction with the blanched vegetables before serving. In Jakarta, cashew nuts are used instead of peanuts and are called ‘gado-gado boplo’.
Gado-gado is widely available on the streets of Indonesia, from the hawker stalls to high-end restaurants and hotels. The dish screams of Indonesia. In 2018, gado-gado was named one out of five-nation dishes of Indonesia. The popularity of gado-gado has spread to Malaysia and is enjoyed by many people. So how about we bring a little bit of Indonesia into our home and make us some gado-gado!
Ingredients (6 servings):
- 250 g yard-long beans (chopped into 2-inch pieces)
- 3 cups of bean sprouts
- 2 cups of shredded Chinese cabbage
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (cut into halved)
- 4 sliced cucumbers
- 2 potatoes (diced into cubed)
- 2 cups of unsalted peanuts
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 red chilli peppers (chopped)
- 30 g of palm sugar
- 1 tbs of tamarind extract
- 1 lime
- Salt to taste
- Blanch or steam the vegetables and boil the potatoes. Set aside once done.
- Fry the peanuts until it is lightly brown with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Blend the peanuts, garlic, chilli and palm sugar until it becomes a well-mixed paste.
(Pestle and mortar can be used for a more traditional approach).
- Combine the mixture with tamarind extract, lime juice and water in a pan.
- Add salt and simmer the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Chop the tofu into a 1-inch cube and fry it until lightly brown.
- Slice and fry the tempeh.
- Place vegetables, tofu, tempeh and lontong on a plate.
- Serve with peanut sauce.