Gado-Gado
mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce

Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. trasi/ shrimp paste (use Thai, Malaysian, or Indonesian) - omit for vegetarian sauce
  • 2 dried chilis or 1/4 tsp. Indonesian or Vietnamese chili paste - adapt to taste
  • 1 Tb. brown sugar
Process all of the above ingredients in a blender until a fairly smooth paste. I use a mini blender jar.

  • 2 Tb. vegetable oil
Heat oil in skillet. Fry paste in oil until onion is quite soft and spice paste begins to form a cohesive mass. Remove from fire.

  • 1/2 lb. natural crunchy peanut butter
Mix peanut butter with seasoning paste in a bowl. Blend well.

  • 2 cups coconut milk
Gradually stir into peanut butter - add a little at a time, stirring well before adding more, until all has been mixed together.

  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. kentjur - can be purchased at Indonesian markets - omit if unavailable
Add to peanut sauce.

  • 1/2 to 3 cups water
Add to peanut sauce as necessary to make a thick pourable sauce.

  • 1 Tb. lemon juice
Add to peanut sauce. Put sauce in a serving bowl.


Salad

Make a selection from the following - i usually use all of them for parties.

  • 1 pkg. firm or very firm tofu (12-14 oz.), drained, cut in 1" x 1" x 1/2" rectangles
    Deep-fry until lightly golden. Or pan fry if you don't have a wok or appropriate pan for deep-frying

  • 2 large new potatoes
    boil and slice - if desired, fry lightly until golden

  • 3 eggs
    hard cook and slice (easy to do with one of those wire egg slicers)

  • 1/2 small green cabbage
    shred, then steam until limp but crunchy.
  • 1/2 small nappa or Chinese cabbage
    chop coarsely then steam briefly.

    If using both kinds of cabbage, steam separately as green cabbage takes longer to cook than Chinese.

  • 1/2 lb. green beans
    cut in 1" pieces - steam until tender

  • 2 carrots
    cut in 1" long sticks - steam until just tender

  • 1/2 lb bean sprouts
    blanch by putting them in a colander in the sink and pour boiling water over them.

  • 1 cucumber
    slice in thin rounds. You may leave peel on if you choose, or pare decoratively, or peel completely - it's up to you.

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup torn spinach
  • 1 bunch of watercress

Mix greens together. On a large serving platter, make a bed of mixed greens. Arrange vegetables decoratively on top. Serve sauce on the side.

Sauce may be made ahead of time, but it won't keep long, so use within 24 hours and keep refrigerated after making. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Gado-gado may be served as a side dish in an elaborate dinner, or eaten with steamed rice and krupuk (shrimp chips) as a light meal.


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