Take your taste buds on a Southeast Asian adventure with this crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying, Indonesian Gado Gado Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. It’s a deliciously cooling salad for a hot summer’s day, packed with healthy nutrients, protein and incredible spicy peanut flavour.
It’s no big secret that I’ve had a *slight* obsession with Bahasa Indonesia since basically well, ever.
Poor Sarah has to listen to me gabble away all the time, nattering on about what this word in Indonesian means, or why that word is just so damn cool to say.
(10 points to anyone who can pronounce pengetahuan!)
Annnnnnd there I go again. Haha 😛
A few weeks ago when we were diving into Bali’s local Indonesian cuisine, being able to speak the language led to some incredible food experiences, some awesome conversations, and a few delicious local recipes.
Just like this recipe for Indonesian Gado Gado with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
Gado Gado (literally meaning ‘mix mix’ in Indonesian) translates to BIG BOWL OF YUM in our books.
It’s got that healthy mix of raw and blanched veggies alongside super satisfying, protein-packed tofu and tempeh, all smothered in spicy peanut deliciousness.
Our wandering, eating adventures turned up seemingly endless varieties of this popular salad dish.
One featured mainly fried tofu and bean shoots doused in that mouth-watering homemade peanut sauce, dished up by our new friend Usman from his hawker-style street cart.
Then there was that completely different version at a local warung (food stall), this one packed with potatoes, beans, lettuce and crispy krumpuk (fish cake) crackers.
The flavours in that last bowl were so good we
begged asked the owner for her recipe.
Leading us into her kitchen, she pointed out her treasured ingredients and showed us how to blend peanuts, spices, seasonings and sauces using her traditional Indonesian mortar and pestle. She was so excited to talk about her recipe, she couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the entire time! It was one of the best conversations and experiences we had in Bali. If you do ever want to check out her little warung, it’s opposite Kayun Hostel on JL Patih Jelantik, Bali, Indonesia. Say hello from us!
Recreating the dish in our kitchen at home, the hardest part was to stop taste testing the sauce until it was juuuuust right.
Inspired by all the incredible versions of Gado Gado out there, we decided to create our own mix mix of ingredients and pile up the veggies for a deliciously healthy salad.
Green beans, sliced carrot, boiled potato and crispy lettuce formed up the base, and boiled egg, fried tofu and Indonesian tempeh added flavour, texture, and extra protein.
Now, tempeh. Hands up if you’ve used this spicy soy ingredient before!
- Yes! You’re all set for Gado Gado goodness.
- No? head to the fridge section of your nearest Asian grocery, and pick yourself up a pack. Slice, fry and add to your Gado Gado for a satisfyingly spicy treat. It’s got that deliciously chewy texture of a meat patty without the meat, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
While you’re at the Asian grocery, feel free to pick up a bag of krumpuk or emping (Indonesian chips) for extra crunch.
Looking for something to wash down your healthy Gado Gado bowl? Why not whip up a this Ridiculously Fun Teh Tarik to wash it all down, then balance it out with a little naughty Indonesian Chocolate Banana Roti for dessert. 😉
Indonesian Gado Gado Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
For the sauce
- 100 g roasted peanuts
- 25 g palm sugar
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cm ginger finely chopped
- ½ to 1 small red chilli finely chopped
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup hot water
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the salad
- 2 large lettuce leaves washed
- 2 boiled eggs halved
- 2 potatoes diced into cubes and boiled
- 1 carrot julienne sliced
- Handful green beans blanched
- 50 g tempeh cubed
- 50 g fried tofu cubed
- Vegetable oil
Place the peanuts into a mortar or food processor. Crush the peanuts, then add palm sugar, garlic, ginger and chilli and grind for a few minutes until well combined.
Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and water. Mix well and add more water if needed until the sauce has a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a frypan over high heat. Add tempeh and cook for a few minutes until browned. Add tofu and continue to cook until tofu is heated through.
Arrange salad ingredients onto serving plates and liberally coat with spicy peanut sauce.