Gado Gado

If you travel in Indonesia, “Gado Gado” might be the most common dish that you see on the menu. In Chinese language, this dish is simply translated as Indonesian salad. It can’t represent the whole Indonesian cuisine, but it definitely shows its popularity throughout the country.Gado Gado in Indonesian literally means “mix mix”, mixed with vegetables, fried tempeh or tofu, hard-boiled eggs, plenty of rich peanut sauce, toppings like ground peanuts, and prawn crackers. Probably you can see why it becomes so popular. All the nutrients are loaded in one bowl, the ingredients are easy to customize, and the sauce is just irresistible (if you are not allergic to peanut).

What’s in my Gado Gado bowl: thin-cut purple cabbage, sliced cucumber, carrot strips and sprouts for the freshness, vitamins and colors; fried tofu, boiled potato and egg for the protein and carbs; rice crackers for the crunchiness; sprouted beans and ground peanuts for toppings; and sauce as the soul ingredient.

The common Gado-gado sauce uses ground peanuts, palm sugar, garlic, chilies, shrimp paste, tamarind, lime juice, and salt. To adjust it to a vegetarian version, as well as to make it more convenient to collect the ingredients, I’m using peanut butter, red curry paste, soy sauce, coconut milk, lemon juice, garlic, and a blender too. Be sure to taste and adjust the sauce to suit your preferences: sweeten it up with sugar, or make it zippier with an extra squeeze of lemon.

This is a great build-your-own-bowl meal. The amount of each vegetable can be adjusted however you like. For an extra satisfying meal, add a scoop of rice. Plus, you can pack leftovers beautifully, make it ideal for lunches throughout the week.


Ingredients: (serves 2)
For Salad:
purple cabbage
2 potatoes
2 eggs
200g cubed firm tofu
handful sprouts
rice crackers
sprouted beans and ground peanuts for toppings (optional)For sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp red curry paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
handful roasted peanut


1. Boil the potatoes and eggs, cut into quarters when cool down. Pan-fry the tofu cubes, set aside.
2. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the sauce, blend well until smooth. Taste, adjust with more water if too thick, more peanut butter if too thin, more salt, sugar or lemon, to reach your satisfied flavor.
3. Assemble bowls: arrange the ingredients however you like, serve with the sauce and additional toppings such as roasted peanuts and sprouted beans.