Classic Gado Gado

Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing


  • 1 cup (50 g) bean sprouts, seed coats and tails discarded
  • 2 cups (180 g) spinach, rinsed, tough stems discarded
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup (100 g) green beans, cut into short lengths
  • 1/4 head cabbage, leaves separated and sliced
  • 2 cakes (about 7 oz/200 g each) deep-fried tofu, sliced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons Crispy Fried Shallots, to garnish
  • Krupuk shrimp crackers, to serve (optional)

Gado Gado Dressing

  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2–3 bird’s-eye chilies or red finger length chilies, deseeded
  • 1 in (21/2 cm) fresh kencur root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 3 tablespoons sweet Indonesian soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice


  1. Prepare the Crispy Fried Shallots.
  2. To make the Gado Gado Dressing, coarsely grind the peanuts, garlic, chilies and kencur in a mortar or blender, adding a little water if necessary to keep the mixture turning. Place the ground mixture in a saucepan with all the other Dressing ingredients, except the lime or lemon juice, and simmer uncovered over very low heat for about 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pot and burning. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the lime or lemon juice, mix well and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Crispy Fried Shallots over the sauce just before serving.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium heat, and briefly blanch the vegetables (about 30 seconds for bean sprouts, 1 minute for spinach, 1 to 2 minutes for carrot, and 2 to 3 minutes for green beans and cabbage). Remove from the heat and drain.
  4. Arrange all the vegetables on a serving platter and top with the tofu and egg wedges. Garnish with the remaining Crispy Fried Shallots and drizzle the Gado Gado Dressing on top. Serve with the deep-fried krupuk on the side.
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • Preparation time: 35 mins
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
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