Special Dish for the Week: Gado Gado Salad

One of my favourite Indonesian dishes during a recent visit to the beautiful island of Bali on a self-directed healing retreat becomes my Special Dish for the Week:

Gado Gado Salad

Gado Gado Salad

Gado Gado Salad

What’s not to love (for me) in this salad: steamed veggies, peanut sauce, spice, optional tofu and tempeh, beautiful food arrangement and vibrant food colours, and memories of an enjoyable moment in my life to encourage the enjoyment of the present one!

I loosely follow the suggested recipes below, and “Maggify” the ingredients to suit my tastes, available ingredients, and the amount of time I have to make the base ingredients (like Sambal Oelek red chili paste and Peanut Sauce) from scratch or to find them pre-made.

Partially Pre-Made Peanut Sauce

Partially Pre-Made Peanut Sauce

I make up some Peanut Sauce ahead of time, in the future to be tried from scratch, but this one partly pre-made from an authentic Balinese package, adding:

  • piece of Bambu Sate Ayam dehydrated peanut sauce
  • 1 tbsp Bragg soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek or red Thai chili pepper, finely chopped with seeds in (quantity and seeds in or out dependent on desired spiciness)
  • warm water (for heating and diluting to a desired consistency)

I warm these up in a sauce pan, constantly mixing over low to medium heat. I set it aside, ready for slight reheating before serving (adding more warm water as needed for desired consistency at time of reheating).

Gado Gado Salad Ingredients

Gado Gado Salad Ingredients

I prepare the following veggies ready for steaming (in steaming order, at increments of 2-3 min):

  • green beans, diagonally cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • green cabbage or kale, shredded (optional)
  • green pepper, chopped or julienned
  • broccoli, cut into small flowerettes
  • bean sprouts, whole
  • spinach, chopped
  • firm tofu and/or tempeh, cubed or strips and fried up in coconut oil (optional)

I arrange the steamed veggies (with fried tofu and/or tempeh, when using) and peanut sauce on top, delicately decorate my plate setting with a flower and candle, and thoroughly enjoy the flavours and textures of this dish.

Meal ideas & recipes from Periplus Mini Cookbooks “Tropical Salads” and the recipe booklet from Jambangan Bali Cooking Class.