Indonesian Mixed Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce (Gado-Gado)

This vegetable salad figured out long ago that age old question: “How can you get kids to eat vegetables?”. Bathe them in sweetened peanut butter, it’s that simple. Gado-Gado is one of Indonesia’s most famous dishes and local versions are beloved everywhere in the country. It makes for a dramatic and colorful addition to a buffet table, before-or-after a main course, or a complete lunch. Most ingredients can be prepared days in advance of the final presentation.

Gado-Gado – Mixed Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing

Gado-Gado is one of Indonesia's most famous dishes and is beloved by both children and adults everywhere in the country. Each separate component can be made in advance, making for a quick final assembly and dramatic presentation.
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Indonesia, Southeast Asian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • large frying pan
  • large saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1 package Extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tsp Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Shredded carrots
  • 1 cup Green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about ½ small)
  • 2 cups Bean sprouts
  • ½ lb Small boiling potatoes
  • 1 large Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 large Ripe tomato, sliced thin
  • 4 large Eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved
  • ¼ cup Fried shallot flakes
  • 12 Shrimp crackers (optional)
  • 1 RECIPE Indonesian peanut dressing

Instructions

  • Prepare Tofu – Drain and dry tofu block. Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Dry on paper towels. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season tofu slices well with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of kecap manis. Lay tofu slices in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Fry for 3 minutes on each side until slices are golden brown. Remove to paper towels. Cut each slice into triangles.
  • Cook Vegetables – Boil water in a large saucepan. Boil potatoes for 5 minutes and remove to drain and cool. When cooled, cut into ¼-inch slices.
    In same water, blanch the carrots, green beans, and cabbage separately for 2 minutes each. As each one is done, transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon and quickly refresh with cold running water. Set aside in individual piles on a wide, paper towel lined plate. Repeat.
    Add bean sprouts to same boiling water and blanche for 30 seconds, transfer to colander, rinse and drain.
  • Assemble and Serve – Reheat peanut sauce over low heat. Rim a large serving platter with alternating slices of tomato and cucumber. Arrange various vegetables in individual piles on the platter and place halved eggs in the middle. Pour warmed peanut sauce over the vegetables and sprinkle with fried shallots. If using shrimp crackers, place them around the salad. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • Each component may be prepared up-to a few days in advance, wrapped in foil, and refrigerated. 
  • Gado-Gado can also be served with the peanut sauce on the side enabling guests to take whatever they’d like and adding the dressing themselves. 

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