This classic salad of blanched vegetables dressed with a spicy peanut sauce is considered one of the national dishes of Indonesia. Cucumber, bean sprouts, cabbage and green beans are traditional, but the variety of vegetables may differ. Try using boiled and sliced potatoes, blanched broccoli florets, blanched spinach, or sliced jicama. This salad should be served at room temperature with the vegetables tender-crisp. I like to serve Gado Gado with a basket of crisp, deep fried krupuk (Indonesian shrimp crackers).
Serves 4 or 6 as part of a multicourse meal
1 medium cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
4 cups bean sprouts, parboiled for 20 seconds, rinsed in cold water and drained well
3 cups shredded green cabbage, parboiled for 1 minute, rinsed in cold water and drained well
1/2 pound green beans, ends snapped and broken into 2" long pieces. Parboiled for 5 minutes, rinsed in cold water and drained well
1 medium carrot, julienned, parboiled for 1 minute, rinsed in cold water and drained well
2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fried shallots
Peanut Sauce for Gado Gado
Yield: about 2 cups
This sauce, known as Sambal Kacang (pronounced Ka-chang), is equally delicious as a lukewarm dip for a crudite platter or sauce for chicken and beef satays.
3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
1/4 cup lime juice
2 - 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce ( Ketjap Manis) or regular soy sauce. If using regular soy sauce use the larger amount of sugar.
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, or more to taste
1 cup coconut milk
Combine all the ingredients together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a spoon or wire whisk. When smooth, add 1/4 cup water and continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil Turn down heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Remove pan from heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve lukewarm. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
Assembling the Gado Gado:
Ring a large platter with the cucumber slices, then spread the bean sprouts, cabbage and green beans in layers in the center. Pour 1 cup of warm peanut sauce over the vegetables and arrange carrots and egg wedges on top, then garnish with the fried shallots. Place any extra peanut sauce in a small bowl on the table so people may add extra sauce as desired. Serve with deep fried krupuk crackers, if desired.
|Gado Gado for 2 in a Delft, Netherlands Indonesian restaurant|