Gado Gado is the premier salad of Indonesia. There is no better way to expand your culinary taste buds than exploring cuisines from around the world and this Indonesian salad is a feast for the senses. A combination of fresh and cooked vegetables served with a delicious Peanut Sauce Dressing.
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The original recipe came from one of my favourite food magazines back in the day; Bon Appetit, Food&Wine or Gourmet…I don’t know which one. The recipe made its’ way into my collection of ethnic specialties but it isn’t an everyday salad. You can simplify it by using less ingredients but making the complete salad is definitely worth the effort. And if you are lucky there will be enough leftovers to make a nice lunch.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients in my Gado Gado. Many of the ingredients may already be in your fridge. Cooking the eggs and potatoes a day or two in advance also decreases the number of steps when you actually prepare this salad.
This is a North American adaptation and that usually means the ingredients are readily available. So let me clarify readily available. Of course the vegetable are all naturally gluten free and available. The only ingredient with gluten would be kecap manis in the dressing.
Kecap manis is a sweet Indonesian soy sauce commonly made with wheat. Although someone on Instagram shared a picture of a gluten free version of kecap manis made from sorghum, I have not been able to find a gluten free bottle at a store or on Amazon.
Many years ago I learned to make kecap manis because it was a specialty ingredient that wasn’t readily available. You can read that post and see the recipe here. For me it is an Asian pantry staple you just need to make. It isn’t difficult; it is just a necessary step.
Gado Gado literally means mix mix. As with any salad the ingredients are just a guide so mix it up any way you like. Vary the ingredients, cooked or raw, cut the vegetables in the size you prefer and use any amounts. Do the same with the presentation then post it and tag me on social media. Make it your own way.
Traditionally Gado Gado is served as a layered salad, sometimes tossed right at your table in Indonesia. For entertaining I love the presentation of a composed salad. The colourful ingredients can be beautifully presented on a large tray showcasing each of the individual components. This makes it ideal for the centerpiece of an Indonesian feast but consider taking it anywhere…a Pot Luck perhaps. It is still a salad!
|8 oz red potatoes|
|2 cups cauliflower florets|
|2 carrots, julienned|
|4 oz green beans, trimmed and cut in half|
|2 cups shredded green cabbage|
|1 cup jicama sticks|
|1 cup bean sprouts|
|1 cup firm tofu cut in cubes|
|12 cherry tomatoes|
|2 hard cooked eggs, sliced|
|2 green onions, sliced|
|PEANUT SAUCE DRESSING|
|1 cup coconut milk|
|1/3 cup peanut butter|
|1 large garlic clove, minced|
|3 Tbsp GF kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)|
|3 Tbsp lemon juice|
|2 Tbsp water|
|2 Tbsp brown sugar|
|½ tsp lemon zest|
|½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes|
|½ tsp salt|
|GARNISH - Indonesian shrimp chips|
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