Monday 16 July 2012


Many, many years ago, my husband and I used to go to an Indonesian restaurant in London's West End called Bali. It was one of those cozy restaurants decorated in the style of the place the food comes from. That probably added a lot to its charms and made the food taste so exotic and delicious. 

My husband just loves everything on the menu and would always order a bowl of laksa plus another dish. Their servings were quite generous and much as I'd like to try everything on the menu, I couldn't forego of the chance to eat their gado gado each time. Since I couldn't manage to eat anything else aside from that, that was pretty much what I ate from that restaurant plus pickings from my husband's food.

Gado gado is an Indonesian salad which consists mostly of boiled or blanched vegetables accompanied by a sweet and spicy peanut dressing, similar to but not as rich as satay sauce. I have never had such a salad before I had this in Bali. In fact, to this day, I haven't come across any other salad similar to this. The peanut dressing is its selling point. It immediately tugged at my taste buds the first time I tasted it. It had all the tastes that pleases my Asian palate: sweet, tart, spicy, salty. 

This is my take on gado-gado. I have simplified this recipe and used ingredients that are readily available in supermarkets. Though real gado gado is not made this way, this surely pleases and hits that Asian high note.

This recipe makes 2 main meal or 4 starter portions.


2-4 boiled new potatoes
2 boiled sweet potatoes
6 pieces of fried tofu
4 hard boiled eggs
1 c. of topped and tailed bean sprouts, blanched
20-30 dwarf beans, boil until just tender
1/2 cucumber

Ingredients for the dressing:

3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. of coconut milk
2 tbsps. water
2 tbsps. malt vinegar
1-2 tsps. chilli oil


Sauté the garlic for two minutes. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the peanut butter and brown sugar. When mixed, add the coconut milk while stirring to make a smooth sauce. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Check the seasonings. You may thin this further with water if you find it too thick for your liking. Serve with the vegetables.

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  1. The main ingredient is the Sauce/Dressing!! I still feel this is a healthy dish.

  2. I'll never shy away from a good peanut sauce. The idea to pair vegetables and peanut sauce is refreshing.

  3. Wow gado-gado my old time fav....fantastic gado-gado..well done.

  4. Such a beautiful gado gado! Well done!

  5. Gado Gado sounds so Ybanag (my dialect). I love the sauce. anything salad for me is still healthy. I feel that it's the rice that's the culprit. So without rice for me that's healthy haha!

  6. HI.. I'm Indonesian and very exciting to see people from other hemisphere knowing traditional food from my country. gado-gado is easy to find at java island, Indonesia, because that's the food came from :) your Gado-Gado looks delicious and Tempting! love it so much


  7. This sounds like a wonderful salad! And your photos are absolutely beautiful - as usual =)

  8. wow what a neat salad would love to go to Bali and really interested to learn more Indonesian food thanks for visiting my blog

  9. Interesting, you know Gado in traditional Taiwanese dialect means scissor!


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