Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce (Gado-gado): Perfect Idea for Your Vegan Meal

Getting bored of your usual vegan meals? Try this popular vegetable salad with peanut sauce known as gado-gado. Gado-gado has it all. It’s an Indonesian salad of slightly boiled, blanched or steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, fried tofu and tempeh, served with a peanut sauce dressing. There is no strict rule to what goes in a gado-gado, but it must at least include boiled eggs and boiled potatoes to count as one. The rest of the ingredients are really up to you.

Gado-gado Sauce
  • 100 gram peanut – roasted in oven at 170C for 5 minutes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 25 gram palm sugar
  • 2-5 bird's eye chilies (cabe rawit) - use more if you prefer spicy taste
  • ½ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste (terasi) - omit if making vegetarian sauce
  • ½ teaspoon tamarind pulp (asam Jawa) - soaked in 1 tablespoon of warm water to get the juice
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce (coconut aminos or tamari for gluten free option)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Salt to taste

Gado-gado Ingredients
  • 2 potatoes - cut into quarters & boiled
  • 2 eggs - boiled and cut into quarters

Optional Salad Ingredients
  • Bean sprouts - blanched
  • Long beans - cut into 2 inch long, blanched
  • Firm tofu - pan fried/baked & cut into cubes
  • Tempeh - cut into cubes & pan fried/baked
  • French beans - cut into 2 inch long, blanched
  • Spinach - blanched & roughly chopped
  • Water spinach - blanched & roughly chopped
  • Cabbage - blanched and thinly sliced
  • Raw cucumber - cut into cubes
  • Chayote - boiled
  • Melinjo crackers (Emping)
  • Fried shallots


Peanut Sauce
  1. Place peanut, garlic, palm sugar, chilies, salt, and toasted shrimp paste in a food processor. Grind until everything is well mixed. Remove into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add tamarind juice, lime juice, and sweet soy sauce and mix well.
  3. Pour only enough of the hot water while keep stirring to get to the consistency of peanut sauce that you like.

To serve
  1. Place some boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, and whatever optional salad ingredients that you want to have in your gado-gado onto a serving plate/bowl. Serve the peanut sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Just prior to eating gado-gado, pour the peanut sauce, mix well, and sprinkle with fried shallots. It can be eaten warm or cold.
  3. In Indonesia, gado-gado is usually served with steamed rice or lontong (rice wrapped in banana leaf).

Cooking Tips:
To get a more fragrant sauce, pound the peanut sauce ingredients with pestle and mortar.


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