Gado Gado – Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on February 7, 2011

 

I fell in love with the flavors of gado gado when I first tasted it in Indonesia. It is a quick, easy, healthy salad that you can serve as an appetizer, as a salad course, or pack for office lunch. Typically, the vegetables and peanut dressing are tossed together, or the peanut sauce is poured over the vegetables. Here, I serve it deconstructed on a platter, with the peanut sauce or sambal kacang on the side for dipping.

In Indonesia, the peanut dipping sauce is prepared by pounding together roasted peanuts, garlic, palm sugar, chillies, and shrimp paste. I left out the shrimp paste to make the gado gado vegan. I used peanut butter instead of roasted peanuts – a great shortcut!

The gado gado I had in Indonesia was served with tomato wedges, beansprouts, tofu and boiled eggs. You can use absolutely any vegetable you like. For this recipe, I served the gado gado peanut sauce with steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, baby radish and rice balls.

Lontong inspired rice balls

These rice balls are inspired by Indonesian lontong (or Ketupatin some parts of Asia). Lontong is cubes of compressed, cooked rice, that is sometimes served with gado gado. Traditional lontong is made by half cooking rice, packing it into a banana leaf lined mould, steaming the rice in the mould, and then cutting it into cubes or discs.

I love the taste of lontong, but wanted to make something quicker but similar for the gado gado. So I simple rolled cooked sushi rice into balls, and coated the rice balls in sesame seeds. Simple, and delicious!

Oil your hands, and scoop a tablespoon of cooked sushi or sticky rice. Using your palm and fingers, gently squeeze the rice into a ball.

Roll the rice ball into a nice round shape. Roll ther ice ball in toasted sesame seeds.

More Gado Gado recipes

Indonesian Sambal Kacang recipe (peanut sauce for gado gado) from the book Indonesian regional cooking

Agado gado recipe from Rasa Malaysia

Gado gado surabaya style on Indonesia eats

Street sidegado gado making in central Java, Indonesia

Gado Gado with Peanut Sauce Recipe

serves about 6

for Peanut Dipping Sauce (Sambal Kacang)
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 fresh green chili chopped, (use 1/2 for milder sauce, or leave it out)
Salt
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon jaggery or palm sugar or regular white sugar
2 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups hot water

Place the garlic cloves, green chili and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste.

In a small bowl, add the garlic paste, peanut butter, sugar and lime juice. Pour in hot water a little at a time, while whisking the peanut butter. Stop pouring the hot water when the peanut butter forms a smooth, dippable sauce. You may not need to use all of the hot water.

Taste the peanut sauce and adjust salt, sugar and lime juice if needed. Serve with vegetable crudites.

for Rice Balls with Sesame Seeds

makes about 6 balls

1/2 cup sushi rice (or other similar glutinous, sticky rice)
1 cup water
salt
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Place rice, water and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer, place a lid on the pan, and cook till rice is done, about 15 minutes. Let the rice cool a little.

Spread sesame seeds on a plate.

Rub a little sesame oil on your hands (so rice doesnt stick). Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cooked rice, and using your palms, form the rice into tight balls. Roll the rice balls in sesame seeds. Rub your palms with more sesame oil if needed. Repeat till you use up all the rice.

Serve rice balls with peanut dipping sauce.

the vegetables
Choose 5 items from this list, and serve about 1 cup each on a platter, along with peanut dipping sauce (recipe above)

Cubed, fried tofu
Pan fried Tempeh pieces
Tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes
Cucumber slices
Green and red pepper strips
Bean sprouts
Baby radish
Carrot sticks
Celery sticks
Boiled potato
Blanched green beans
Lightly steamed broccoli
Rice balls (recipe above)
Boiled egg
Tortilla chips
Pretzel sticks

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Comments

comments

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn @Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

I LOVE peanut sauce. You could even omit the sugar on this sauce and use a little agave or honey.

Thanks for sharing.

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2 Priti February 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

I like lontong too provide it done nicely …this sauce is kinda new to me and looks yum…lovely pics

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3 Nithya February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

Really interesting dish :) Love the clicks and rice balls remind me of ghee rice balls that mom used to make for me when I was a kid :)

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4 sally February 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

You had me at peanut sauce!

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5 Xiaolu February 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I’ve enjoyed gado gado before for um overtime work delivery meals, but it must’ve been amazing eating it in Indonesia! I love your shortcut of PB and the rice balls are an adorable and delicious idea for sure.

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6 CindyW February 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm

This looks fabulous. I’m going to try making some for lunch tomorrow!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

let me know how to turned out!

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7 Pure2raw Twins February 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Love the little rice balls!

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8 notyet100 February 8, 2011 at 1:59 am

thnks for sharin this,..

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9 Zita February 8, 2011 at 3:45 am

Great-great recipe! I’ve never made peanut sauce but I’ll definitely make this one! Yum!

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10 The Mistress of Spices February 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

I love your blog (just found it randomly while surfing Twitter) and I love gado-gado! I haven’t been to Indonesia yet unfortunately, but used to enjoy it at “Pan-Asian” restaurants in DC when I lived there. Oddly, I also encountered it at the French cultural center in Dakar, Senegal. Here’s my version: http://www.mistress-of-spices.com/2010/07/gado-gado.html

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11 lusy February 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

wow!!!!! so delicious, i like peanut sauce

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12 Plateful February 11, 2011 at 4:00 am

Mmm, looks delicious. I have a jar of peanut butter waiting to be used and this sounds like the perfect recipe – thanks for sharing!

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13 Trudy ~ veggie num num February 18, 2011 at 12:39 am

I l.o.v.e gado gado salad!! and your recipe looks so very good, especially with the little rice balls, super delish!!

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14 Kathleen Richardson May 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Prepared the sushi rice balls, vegetables and peanut butter sauce tonight for my daughter and grandsons (4 & 8). They weren’t as impressed with the sushi rice balls as they were with the veggies (broccoli, carrots and cucumbers) and the peanut butter sauce. I liked the sushi rice rolled in the toasted sesame seeds, but will make them smaller next time; think I exceeded your 1-tablespoon directive!

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15 Pepy @Indonesia Eats October 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Thank you for linking to my old blogpost! Yours is looking yummy!

In Indonesia, there are two differences between lontong and ketupat. Lontong is wrapped in banana leaves and moulded into a roll while ketupat is wrapped in coconut or pandan leaves and has a square form.

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16 karen December 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm

The sauce dont look right. Definitely not gado gado peanut sauce. Sorry. I have love gado gado for a long
long time. I can tell you this sauce is too westernised version and far from the real one. Disappoinated.

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17 Midia October 4, 2013 at 3:25 am

Hi Sala,

Your blog is nice and I love it. Your gado-gado looks delicious, but it looks like salad. I’m an indonesian, I’d like to share something about gado-gado salad in Indonesia.
Gado-gado is made of vegetables and peanut sauce. We usually have cabbage, bean sprout, water spinach, chayote, long beans, corn (steamed or boil all of these veggies), we also have cucumber, fried tempe (Indonesian soybean cake) or tofu, eggs, and fried potato. We didn’t have broccoli, raddish or carrot in the past time. We just have the vegetables I’ve mentioned above, so if you made it using those veggies I’ve mentioned, it will be more authentic. For the peanut sauce, just like you’ve stated above, it’s using roasted peanut, chillies, garlic, salt, palm sugar, shrimp paste, tamarind water and lime juice. We usually grind the peanuts to make it more delicious, the result will be much different if you blend it in a food processor. If you want it to taste better, just add some roasted cashew nuts. After it’s done, we add some fried onions and kerupuk as garnish. Indonesian love kerupuk so much, hehehehe. It’s not healthy but we just love it!
Actually we have others sald like gado-gado which are using peanut sauce as the dressing. They are Karedok (the difference with gado-gado is the vegetables in Kareedok are raw veggies), gado-gado pengantin (we have some raw lettuce, cabbage and cucumber, and then boiled egg, the dressing is peanut sauce and we have kerupuk melinjo as the garnish), and the last is pecel (the veggies just like I’ve mentioned above, same like gado-gado but without corn, and the dressing is also peanut sauce). If you are interested in Indonesian food I’d love to share Indonesian recipe with you.

Thank you
Midia

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