Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad made using blanched or quickly steamed vegetables, cooked potatoes, hard boiled eggs, some tofu or tempeh, all drizzled with an unctuous and spicy peanut sauce and served with prawn crackers on the side. An incredible blend of flavours and textures and, even better, wonderfully healthy (mostly!).
Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.
Preheat oven to Fan Oven 180°C/200°C/400°F/Gas 6
Make the peanut sauce: heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the curry paste. Cook for 1 minute until aromatic.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the peanut butter, fish sauce, palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind paste and kecap manis and stir well to mix. Gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Allow to cool.
Serve at room temperature or store it in the fridge in a jar or bowl sealed with a lid. It will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, but bring it to room temperature before serving.
Potatoes - slice the potatoes ¾ - 1cm thick, place in a saucepan, cover with boiling water, add a teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well, put back in the empty saucepan and mix thoroughly with the vegetable oil. Tip out onto a baking tray, ensuring they are evenly spread out, and bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for 30 - 40 minutes until golden and crispy.
Eggs - put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 6 or 7 minutes, depending on how hard you want the yolks to be. Drain immediately and cover in cold water, to prevent further cooking.
Tofu – remove from the packaging and, if necessary, dry on kitchen towel. Firm tofu is easier to work with than silky tofu but both are delicious. Pictured here is silky tofu which broke apart when I took it out of the box. Heat the sesame oil in pan over a moderately high temperature and add the tofu. Cook until caramelised and golden on both sides and remove from the pan. Slice the chunks in half horizontally to make thinner slices and put back in the pan, uncooked side down, until it is also golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Cabbage – shred the cabbage. Bring some salted water to the boil in a saucepan and add the cabbage. Bring back to the boil and drain immediately.
Beansprouts – bring a pan of water to the boil and add the beansprouts. Immediately drain.
Uncooked vegetables and herbs – prepare the vegetables for the salad – halve and slice the cucumber, halve the cherry tomatoes and trim and slice the spring onions. Remove the stems and shred the fresh herbs, if necessary, wash the spinach or spinach mix leaves.
Peanut sauce: if the peanut sauce is too thick to drizzle, remove ¼ cup of the sauce and mix with a little boiling water until it is a good drizzling consistency.
Prepare the salad –
- when the potatoes, are cooked mix with the fresh herbs
- eggs – remove the shells and halve
- tofu – chop the cooked tofu into small pieces
- either layer the salad or add the vegetables in sections with the tofu and boiled eggs.
Drizzle the salad with some peanut sauce and serve the remainder on the side. Decorate with chopped peanuts and chilli slices.
Serve: with lime wedges and the prawn crackers and sweet chilli sauce on the side