I first tasted this vegetable salad at a party hosted by an Indonesian couple some years back and it has been a favorite ever since. Gado-gado is a popular dish in Indonesia and served in many Indonesian restaurants around the world. What makes it particularly special is the peanut sauce dressing – in authentic Indonesian cooking, the sauce is made with the right balance of sweet, sour, spicy, tangy and salty that perfectly complements all the vegetables. Because some of the ingredients used to make the sauce can be hard to find, here is a simpler version. You can also add proteins to the salad such as diced chicken or tofu.
For the Salad:
3 cups cabbage shredded or coarsely chopped
3 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
3 cups bean sprouts (preferably fresh)
2 1/2 cups green beans, cut and blanched (or use the canned variety)
2 medium potatoes, boiled and cut
1 cucumber, sliced
For the Peanut Sauce Dressing:
1 cup peanut butter (preferably creamy)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp hot sauce (Sriracha or any Asian hot sauce)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp water
Once you have prepared all the vegetable ingredients, arrange them on a platter. Start with the cabbage as a bed for all the other vegetables and pile them up on the plate with the sliced potatoes and eggs on top.
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce and stir until everything is well incorporated. Taste and adjust according to your preference. Pour the peanut sauce dressing over the entire salad (it should cover all of the vegetables).
Photo Courtesy of: Banana Leaf Philippines