Vegan Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad of boiled, steamed and raw vegetables served with fried tofu and a thick peanut sauce.
Gado Gado roughly translates to mix mix and that’s exactly what this salad is. A mix of vegetables of different colours and textures mixed in a delicious peanut sauce.
We have never been a fan of salads that are predominantly leafy greens. Always feeling like we want something heartier to satisfy us at dinner time. That’s where Gado Gado differs, the mix of cooked and uncooked vegetables in the thick dressing that coats everything is divine.
Ingredients of note
The sauce has a couple of ingredients that are sometimes difficult to get depending on what shops you have locally. Kecap Manis and Tamarind Paste can usually be found in Asian markets. However, if you can’t source these two ingredients they can be easily replaced for this recipe.
Kecap Manis, sometimes called Ketjap Manis, is a thick sweet Indonesian soy sauce. In this recipe, we are using it for flavour so you can substitute the 3 tablespoons kecap manis with 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce and 1 ½ tablespoons agave syrup.
Tamarind Paste isn’t usually as hard to find. It has a sour citrus flavour and that’s what we are needing for this recipe. You can substitute the 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with 1 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice.
Gado Gado is very versatile, the sauce goes with almost anything. You can swap the vegetables for anything you like. Your favourite vegetable, what’s in season, or what’s leftover in your fridge. Swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes, add raw cabbage or radish. Prefer steamed cauliflower to broccoli? add that instead. The options are endless, you can even swap the tofu with any other vegan protein, tempeh is a traditional addition.
Vegan Gado Gado is great on its own; but, you can also serve it with whole grains like brown rice or quinoa for a more wholesome meal.
Vegan Gado Gado
- 3 medium potatoes
- 150 g mung bean sprouts
- 150 g tenderstem broccoli broccolini
- 100 g green beans
- 50 g green peas
- 2 medium carrots julienned
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 20 g roasted peanuts crushed
- 20 g crispy shallots
- 2 small red chillies
- 300 g tofu thoroughly pressed
- 1 spring onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 50 g cornflour corn starch
- 20 g all-purpose flour
- 60 ml sparkling water
- 2 medium chillies
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 100 g roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 5 tablespoons peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons kecap manis
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- Prepare the vegetables. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Scrub then julienne the carrot. Cut the cucumber into thin disks.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes, boil them until fork-tender, around 10 minutes. Drain then set aside. In the same pot blanch the beansprouts for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain then run the sprouts under cold water to stop them cooking then set aside. Steam the broccoli, green beans and peas until tender but still crunchy, around 6 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, once hot add the sliced chilli and garlic. Fry until fragrant and the garlic is golden. Around 2 minutes.
- Add the chilli and garlic to a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and blend until combined and there are no large lumps left. It should have the texture of crunchy peanut butter.
- Heat the 2 cups vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat to 180C. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct.
- While the oil is heating make the batter. In a flat bottomed bowl combine the 50g cornflour, 20g all-purpose flour and the 60ml sparkling water. Mix well to combine into a smooth batter. Add the salt, pepper and thinly sliced spring onion.
- Cut the tofu into large triangles around 1 cm thick.
- Place the tofu in the bowl with the batter and spoon over the batter over the top so the spring onions coat the top of the tofu.
- When the oil is hot enough carefully place the tofu in the oil trying to keep the spring onions on the top layer. Fry on each side until golden, around 3 minutes.
- Once golden, remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
- To serve, place the tofu and vegetables on a serving plate and garnish with the crushed peanuts, crispy shallots and sliced chilli. Either serve the sauce in a separate dish on the side or drizzle all over the vegetables. The dish should come with a large amount of sauce.