Travelling in far-flung places has brought so much joy to my life. I am completely in my element when surrounded by the fresh sights and sounds of previously unvisited corners of the world. And as you may have guessed by the name of my blog, experiencing the foods of new places ranks very high on my joy meter! Sometimes when I travel, the flavours and fragrances of what I have tasted, never leave me, and such is the case with Indonesia. A number of years ago, my good friend Louise and I spent a whole summer tripping around this delicious country. Very often air-born molecules of tingly spices would lead us into tiny Mom and Pop eateries. Perched on miniature wooden stools we would slurp up unctuous noodles or gobble down mind-blowing Nasi Goreng. Now, being conscious of the health of our gastrointestinal tract, we always tried to abide by the cardinal rule of travellers: “Never eat uncooked vegetables!” Well, after our first plate of Gado Gado, we decided that this was a rule that was meant to be broken. Needless to say we blissfully consumed plate after plate of Gado Gado all across Inodnesia, and when I came home I tried endless recipes in an effort to re-create it. For those of you unfamiliar with Gado Gado, it is simply a large plate of cooked and uncooked vegetables and tofu, served with the richest, creamiest of peanut sauces. The flavour of the peanut sauce will vary from chef to chef, but it always has the ability to transport me into a rapturous state. The recipe for this peanut sauce comes closest to what I ate in Indonesia. I found it in “Pacific Palate: Cuisines of the Sun” by Alaina De Havilland. It also makes a perfect sauce for peanut satay. You can serve this recipe as a meal in itself or as part of a summer BBQ buffet, or hey, go wild and eat it for breakfast!! I do!
I am bringing a huge platter of Gado Gado over to Fiesta Friday today! You have to admire Angie @ The Novice Gardener and all of her amazing co-hosts for keeping this virtual blog party running for the last 33 weeks! Angie and co-hosts, you are all awesome!!
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
juice of one lime
grated zest of ½ lime
2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
Hard boiled eggs
Steamed green beans
Boiled baby potatoes
Put the tamarind paste and hot water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 5 – 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, lime juice, zest, lemon grass, and curry and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until incorporated and fragrant. Add the coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind and water mixture, sugar and peanut butter and bring to a boil. Stir until incorporated. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth.
At this point, check for the consistency. It should be runny enough to pour over the vegetables. Add more water as you need, to get this consistency. Once it is refrigerated, it will need to be watered down to get it to this state again.
This recipe also makes a wonderful satay sauce for chicken satay.
Slice the tofu into ½ inch slices. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the tofu slices and fry until they are a toasty golden colour. Remove them to paper towels and drain. Slice them into strips.
Slice the hard boiled eggs into slices.
Cut the boiled baby potatoes into quarters.
On a large platter, arrange the vegetables, eggs, and tofu in an attractive manner. Place the sauce in a serving dish.
To eat, simply place some of the salad items on a plate and drizzle with the peanut sauce.
49 Responses to “Gado Gado”
Nice!! Love Gado Gado! My aunt used to make them all the time when I was a kid! Lovely post! 😊👌
Wow, lucky you! I would have love to have eaten this kind of food as a kid! So glad you enjoyed the post! 😀
This is such a fabulous dish Julianna! I’ve only ever had Gado Gado once before, when my sister-in-law took the time to prepare it for us – so healthy and delicious at the same time! Thanks so much for sharing – can’t wait to taste that sauce! 🙂
Really glad you enjoyed this, Margot! This sauce is over-the-top! 🙂
Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.
Thanks for reflagging this chef!
I never had Gado Gado before. Will try now. Thanks Julianna for sharing 🙂
You’re welcome, skd! Hope you do get a chance to try it!
wow !!! this looks interesting !! thank you Juliana for sharing 🙂
My pleasure! 😀
That looks great! And I totally agree with you… Travel and tasting the food of different cultures really is a fabulous thing!
Yup, I could spend the rest of my life doing this! 😀
Wow. I’ve never heard of this! But I’ve never been to Indonesia, either. Need to book a flight asap!!!
Haha, Mimi! It’s a long flight, but so totally worth it! It’s a fascinating country and a culinary wonderland! You would just love it!
You have a great selection of ingredients there for your gado gado. That’s what makes this dish so good.
Thanks Hilda! Glad you like this! 😀
Julianna, this looks delicious, healthy, and perfect for the transition from summer to fall. Loving all those beautiful ingredients in your bowl! My husband has been to Indonesia and mentions Gado Gado often, and now I’ll know how to surprise him with it someday. 🙂
Oh what a sweetie you are, Ngan to want to surprise him! I think that most people who have been to Indonesia, can’t get this dish out of their minds! Hope you get a chance to make it!
That peanut sauce has my mouth watering 🙂 Love this dish Julianna! Thanks for posting!
You’re welcome, Naina!
This looks fabulous, Julianna. I’ve never had Gado Gado before, but based on the delicious ingredients, I think it’s time!
Hey Nancy! This is easy to put together and I’m sure you would love it! Happy FF to you!!
[…] Julianna […]
This is totally new to me but it looks very tasty, Julianna 😉
Hey Linda! I’m so happy that I can introduce something new to you! 🙂
Oh my gosh! I love this, Julianna! I haven’t had actual Gado Gado, but I’ve had dishes similar to this, especially the peanut sauce. So creamy and flavorful! Thanks for bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday! Have a great weekend!
Thanks so much Andrea! And thank-you for co-hosting today! I think you would love it because it is really healthy! 🙂
I think so too! I love peanut sauce!
This is great Juliana – I don’t believe I’ve even heard of Gado Gado. I love it that you can learn so much on Fiesta Friday, thanks for that history lesson, together with your amazing dish. Isn’t travel just so wonderful?
Oh Loretta, I’m with you! Travel is just one of life’s pleasures! I’m glad I can introduce you to a new dish! 🙂
I love this salad and especially the sauce :).
So glad you like it, Soanal! 🙂
Oh my I love this salad and I have been looking through many recipes for the peanut sauce. This one sounds great.
Perfect timing then, Suzanne! It really is an awesome peanut sauce recipe!
This is a new recipe for me – it is always fun to learn something new! I know I would love this as I am a big fan of peanut sauces. 🙂
Hey Judi! I agree with you: I learn so much from blogging. It is so cool because we get to share so many ideas and info! I just love it! 😀
Unique and flavorful!
I’ve never had this dish, but after seeing your recipe, I know I would love it!
Hope you get to try it, Nancy!
This is gorgeous Julianna! Just gorgeous! And that sauce sounds amazing!
Thanks Lori!! You are always so kind! Happy FF to you!! 😀
I love peanut sauce on noodles and salads. This salad looks so pretty and sounds wonderful. I wish I had it for lunch today! 🙂
Ooh this sounds wonderful. I love to eat a plate of raw veggies with hummus for lunch, but this sounds way better!
A lovely salad and oh that peanut sauce! I read the recipe 3 times trying to imagine the flavors together, it just sounds so rich and delicious! I am getting so hungry and I a sure there has to be some peanut sauce this week, with noodles or a salad! I might have to go to bed soon and dream about this lovely recipe! 🙂
I’ve never been to Indonesia or had Gado Gado, but I just love the fresh ingredients and the way that you have it presented. This would make a great appetizer!
The Gado Gado looks yummy!
What a lovely and filling salad. This is a whole meal on it’s own, and healthy too. Thanks for sharing!
Hey Liz! You bet this is a meal in itself! Glad that you like it!