Gado Gado – Indonesian salad

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I was looking for a light supper to entertain my guests on a Sunday night, and this fitted the bill. The combination of crunchy veg and the crunchy peanut butter sauce with a good measure of fiery spice from the chilli tickles the old tastebuds. Omit various things if you are vegan/or vegetarian; extra lime juice can add the piquancy of the fish sauce. And of course you can add any other veg, e.g. baby tomatoes asparagus etc to replace the eggs. Or simply add more tofu. I will be making this again!

Serves 4-6

1 tbsp vegetable oil
200g firm tofu, chopped into small chunks
250g cooked new potatoes chopped into chunks
4 eggs (omit if vegan)
100g green beans, halved lengthways
250g Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
½ cucumber (use an organic one with less water) cut into long slices
3 heritage carrots,  cut into slices
handful coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
handful prawn crackers (omit if vegetarian)
4 tbsp crispy onions

For the peanut dressing

2 tbs peanut butter
3 tbsp kecap manis (or 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce and ½ tbsp honey)
2 tsp shrimp paste or dried crayfish (omit if vegetarian)
1 tbsp fish sauce (omit if vegetarian)
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 fat red chillies ( I like Scotch bonnets – use only 1 if you don’t like it too spicy), finely chopped
150ml coconut milk
juice 1 lime

Method
Boil the new potatoes until cooked, drain and leave to cool before chopping into small cubes.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the tofu for a few mins each side until brown and crispy, then transfer to a plate. 
Set up a steamer, put the eggs in to boil until hard, 7-8 minutes, in the bottom part and steam the beans and carrots for 2-3 minutes until cooked but still crunchy. Drain and run under cold water until cool.
To make the peanut dressing, put the peanut butter and kecap manis in a blender and add  the remaining ingredients. Whizz. Should be a creamy pouring consistency.
Put the tofu, potatoes, beans, cabbage, cucumber, beansprouts, carrot and coriander in a large bowl or arrange/pile on a platter. Crunch the prawn crackers in your hands and scatter over. Peel and quarter the eggs, and serve on top with the crispy onions. Toss together just before serving.IMG_4380
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