Gado gado!

For those of you who have been following, I went to Amsterdam a few weeks ago, and tried Indonesian food for the first time. I liked it so much that I decided to try to recreate it for your pleasure and mine, but mostly mine.

Another recipe courtesy of Yolam Ottolenghi: GADO GADO

Gado gado is a substantial Indonesian meal/salad consisting of boiled eggs, vegetables and peanut sauce.


For the satay sauce:

4 garlic  cloves, peeled

1 lemongrass stalk, chopped (oriental grocery stores sell these in large packs, freezes well)

2.5 tbsp sambal oelek (Indonesian crushed chili paste)

2 small pieces of galangal (ginger is a good substitute if you can’t find this)

4 shallots, peeled

80ml vegetable oil

3/4 tbsp salt

90g sugar

1/2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp thick tamarind water – I used tamarind stock, and this worked just fine.

225 roasted unsalted peanuts – I didn’t read the unsalted bit until after I went shopping, and I did not die.

450 ml water.

200ml coconut milk – use half fat if you want to make this healthier but really, what’s the point? You’re making a salad anyway.

For the rest:

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 medium cabbage, chunked

a generous handful or two of beansprouts

100g french beans, trimmed

1/2 medium cucumber, thickly sliced

4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered. Top tip: there’s an iPhone app for egg making now, I kid you not!

100g firm tofu cut into thick slices – I fried mine lightly in sesame oil first.

cassava chips, plantain chips or something else crunchy

3 tbsp coriander leaves


Optional: one small, disobedient black cat.



1. Make your satay sauce – be forewarned, this takes forever, but is really really worth it. Make sure you read through this recipe before you get started, too – there’s some multitasking involved!

a) Combine the garlic, lemongrass, sambal oelek, galangal and shallots in a food processor until they form a paste. Add vegetable oil, if needed.

b) Heat up oil in a medium saucepan – add the paste, and cook gently for approximately 40 minutes or until the oil starts separating from the paste.

c) Add salt, sugar, paprika and tamarind water – cook for a further ten minutes.

d) While the paste is cooking, crush peanuts in your food processor – according to Ottolenghi they should be chunkier than ground almonds, but I’m not super sure what this means exactly – your call. Put them in water, and simmer  for 20-25 minutes or until peanuts are soft and most of the water has evaporated.

e) Add the peanuts and the remaining water to the cooked paste. Stir in the coconut milk, et voila! Taste and be amazed at your own culinary genius.

2. Boil two pots of water – add turmeric to one of them.

3. Cook the potatoes in the turmeric water until tender; drain.

4. In the other pot, blanch the cabbage for 1 minute – remove. Blanch the beansprouts for 30 seconds – remove. Blanch the beans for 4 minutes and drain – keep everything warm.


5. Pile the vegetables, eggs, tofu and cassava/plantain chips on top of a large plate or salad  bowl. Top with the satay sauce – as much or as little as you like – you’ll probably have some leftover, good for marinating some chicken for the barbecue for tomorrow, if England will ever let me have a barbecue.


Thanks again Ottolenghi – what an inspiration!


2 responses

  1. Pingback: Feed me Bali | Project Alphabet

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