Gado-gado is a beloved dish across Indonesia. Each region has a different spin: In Jakarta, it is a “double-carb” dish, featuring both potato and lontong (rice cakes). In West Java, it is known as lotek atah or karedok and served with raw vegetables. At the heart of any gado-gado is the spicy peanut sauce: Some versions call for tamarind, lime, terasi (shrimp paste) or coconut milk. Others use peanut butter instead of freshly pounded peanuts. This particular recipe is inspired by a home-cooked gado-gado eaten in Bali, where the rich, aromatic sauce was powered by shallots and garlic. Its sweetness comes from kecap manis, the thick, caramelly soy sauce foundational in Indonesian cooking, but, if you can’t find kecap manis, make your own (see Tip) or use sweet soy sauce.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2to 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
- 1(14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10ounces green beans, trimmed
- ½small napa cabbage, finely sliced
- 6ounces bean sprouts (about 2 cups)
- 10new potatoes or other small variety, peeled and halved
- 1large cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 2tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
- 4boiled (8-minute) eggs, peeled and halved
- ½cup homemade or store-bought fried shallots
- 1cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- 4shallots, peeled and sliced
- 3garlic cloves, sliced
- 1to 2 red chiles, deseeded and sliced
- 3tablespoons kecap manis (see Tip)
- 2tablespoons palm or brown sugar
- 1teaspoon sea salt
Step 1Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. When hot, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and add the tofu slices. Season the tofu well with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Cut tofu into squares or triangles.
Step 2Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and blanch for about 4 minutes or until just tender. Just before the beans are ready, add cabbage and bean sprouts to the pot and shock them in the water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a colander, refresh under cold water and drain well.
Step 3Bring the same pot of water (add more water and salt, if required) to the boil, and add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 4Meanwhile, make the satay sauce: Place the peanuts, sliced shallots, garlic and chile into a blender or food processor, and blitz until it becomes a chunky paste. You can add a splash of water to get the blender going, or if you prefer a smoother paste. (It is traditional to use a mortar and pestle to make the paste, so if you have one, use it.)
Step 5Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and add the paste, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the kecap manis, palm sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is well combined. (Peanut sauce can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for 7 days.)
Step 6To serve, divide the blanched vegetables, potatoes, tofu, cucumber, tomatoes and eggs over several serving plates or assemble it all on one large serving platter. Drizzle each plate generously with the peanut sauce and top with crispy fried shallots.