Gado-gado might be the healthiest street food there is. Consisted of various vegetables, rice cake, tofu and tempeh, and topped with thick salty and spicy peanut sauce. Luckily, I live nearby two gado-gado sellers with superb gado-gado and affordable price. One very satisfying portion of gado-gado cost me 12.000 IDR or almost 1 Euro or about 1 USD. So I rarely make gado-gado at home.
But sometimes, I just feel my family need a fiber and vitamin boost, especially after I cooked less than healthy meal. I admit, I still feed my family with chicken nugget, instant noodle, and other simple and fast to make food. If I was lazy for two days in a row to cook vegetables, I have to make up for it.
That’s when vegetable-centred dish comes in.
Last Saturday was that kind of day. I just wanted something super healthy for breakfast and lunch. So I made gado-gado.
Gado-gado is a dish that are in a way simple, yet can be pain to make. So many ingredients to prepared. Fried the tofu and tempeh.. Boil the potato, carrot, chayote, kangkoong, corn, beansprout.. Fried the shrimp cracker.. Make the peanut sauce.. Hhhh… If I only need a portion of gado-gado, I wouldn’t even bother. Since I made it for 3 people, for breakfast and lunch (6 portions) I brave through it.
It is super delicious and guilt free food.
So the concept of gado-gado (literally mean mix-mix) is to mix any ingredients you like. Since those in picture above is a very common stuff to get in here, I used them. But If you can’t find one or two ingredients and want to switch it with your own local favorite vegetable, go for it!
Jaime Oliver made his version of gado-gado, using radish and tomato among the vegetable (which I never ever find it here). But hey, as long as you like it.. He also uses peanut butter as the base of the sauce. Cool! I want to try his method too!
The peanut sauce was made by first frying the peanut until cooked. I cooked the peanut with medium heat and stirred occasionally. The peanut made popping sound, indicates that it starting to nicely cooked. When the popping sound became less and less, I remove the peanut from heat and strained the excess oil. Next step was to grind the peanut. Do this with dry blender or pestle and mortar. Do this while the peanut is still warm.
Now, if I am a gado-gado vendor, I would make the sauce in each my costumer’s plate. They can request the spiciness level for their gado-gado. What those sellers do is take two tablespoon of ground peanut, half clove of garlic, some bird chili pepper, a bit of palm sugar, and tamarind water and with pestle, ground and blend everything. They add water little by little until they get the right consistency.
But, I would not going to do that for each plate. I have no such patience. What I did is to measured the required ingredients for 6 plates, and blended everything in blender. The result? My husband said the sauce is too spicy for him. Hahaha.. poor hubby..
After preparing all ingredients, what I did is chop or cut everything to smaller size. Pour enough peanut sauce, add fried shallot, and shrimp cracker, and eat!
Usually gado-gado doesn’t look that organized. You have to mix-mix everything and make that sauce covers everything. Other items that can be found in Indonesian gado-gado that I didn’t use are cucumber, spinach, chinese cabbage, boiled egg, long yard bean, some even use boiled young jackfruit. Again, don’t feel limited by what I use in this one.
So this is my method for making gado-gado.. Enjoy!