What’s For Dinner? Gado-Gado
Well dear readers, I’ve decided to start a new, somewhat regular feature called: what’s for dinner? (I ask myself this question everyday as soon as I finish lunch). Since I’ve been back home in California the last few days, friends and family have been asking me about Indonesian food, so I decided that from here on out, I will ask more friends and co-workers for recipes.
Gado-gado comes in many different varieties and is one of my favorite Indonesian dishes because it involves fresh vegetables (every now and again you need a break from fried foods) and delicious peanut sauce. Gado-gado is a salad dish and the name means hodgepodge or mix-mix.
The recipe I am listing below was from my first week in Indonesia when I cooked lunch with a teacher at language school. The amount I made at school was enough to feed over six people. So, I’m going to list the ingredients, and you can eyeball for the portion size that you need. I will list the peanut sauce amounts for six people. If you are making this for one person, you will have left over sauce. I’ve eaten many versions of gado-gado since my first week in Indonesia and not all of them include all of the ingredients listed below and some include others. So take a look at some other recipes before you start, here and here, if you are curious.
Ingredients: potatoes boiled and peeled, boiled eggs, lettuce, cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, green beans, tofu, cucumber, tomato, and longtong (if you can find this).
Ingredients for peanut sauce: 200 cc of cooking oil, 250 grams of peanuts peeled, 125 ml of sweet soy sauce, 6 cloves of garlic, 100 grams palm sugar, 1 dab of shrimp paste (this is a preference thing, I don’t like too much), 6 lime leaves, 200 cc coconut milk, and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
Toppers: fried shallots, sambal (the Indonesian end all be all of hot sauces, I choose not to put this on gado-gado), kerupuk (these are the fried chips you see pictured below, they come as a side dish with most things here).
So I lied a little bit. The tofu is gently fried to give it a nice crispness in the salad:
When you begin cooking the peanut sauce it won’t look very appetizing, but as all the ingredients are added it will look less like mush and more like a delicious sauce. You will need to use a blender for the peanuts and any other ingredients you don’t feel like chopping, then get the mix on the stove to cook.
The bean sprouts, carrots, and green beans were all gently blanched.
This is how the peanut sauce should look when you’re finished.
When you’ve got all of your ingredients sliced, diced and cooked, assemble your salad and don’t forget the toppers.