Well, this isn’t the classic Gado-Gado, I’ll start with that. Technically, this Indonesian dish translates to mix-mix and the term “gado” that comes from the verb “menggado”, which means consuming something without rice; and since it’s made up of vegetables, that would translate to salad for us Western world people. However, steamed rice is served alongside customarily, so perhaps I didn’t really stray so far from the original dish.
I would translate Gado-Gado as a quick and great way to consume copious amounts of plant matter and just a little bit of protein. The stuff that goes into this dish is kind of up to the one who makes it. Basically, there’s a little veggie prep and you can just shred and slice different kinds of vegetable, whatever’s on hand; I had a carrot, red cabbage, scallions, a handful of peas, a couple of potatoes and cilantro. I piled all of that over some cooked rice and added hard boiled eggs, some dry fried peanuts, lime juice and the star of the Gado-Gado dish, peanut sauce that’s made with ginger and garlic.
As light as this dish is, it is also quite very filling and delicious, for that matter. It makes for a wonderful lunch bowl and I even think it’s the kind of thing you can pack for lunch at the office if you make sure to mix in the lime juice and the peanut only just before eating. Whatever you decide to use in your Gado-Gado, don’t skip the peanut sauce, it’s truly what makes this dish delightful.
250g/1 cup mixed brown, red and black rice or any type of rice
500ml/2 cups water
Two garlic cloves, finely minced
2.5 cm/1 in. ginger, finely grated
200g/1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tblsp soy sauce, preferably dark
¼-½ cups water
Half a red cabbage head, julienned (with a Mandoline)
One carrot, sliced or julienned
3 scallions, chopped
One potato, simmered for 15-20 min in boiling water or until a fork can easily be inserted and cubed
A handful of raw peanuts, dry fried in a pan until fragrant
A handful of peas, blanched (1 minute in boiling water)
2 large free-range eggs
A bunch of coriander, leaves torn and chopped
Two limes, halved
Start by making the rice. Wash your rice in several changes of water, place in a pan along with the 500ml/2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes, until rice is cooked through. Next, cook the eggs by placing them in boiling water for 7 minutes. Take out of the water and remove shells. In a small saucepan set over low heat, place ginger and garlic and fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the peanut butter, the soy sauce and a little water and stir until warmed. Add as much water you need to in order to make the sauce liquid, but make sure that it’s not too watery.
Once the rice has cooked, divide among two soup plates or bowl, divide the cabbage, carrots, scallions, potato cubes, peanuts, peas, halved eggs, coriander, lime halves. Drizzle with peanut sauce and serve!