icon Gado-Gado
(Indonesian vegetable salad
with peanut sauce)

Gado-gado is part of a wide range of Indonesian sauce and salad combinations. It is a mix of vegetables including cooked potatoes, French beans, eggs, onions, and a peanut-sauce dressing. The sauce is the same peanut sauce as is used on chicken or pork satays, and a real delight!


  • l cup cabbage or spring greens, shredded
  • 2 cups French beans, cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) lengths
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup beansprouts, washed
  • Some lettuce leaves and watercress
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 medium-size potato, boiled in its skin, then peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp crisp-fried onions
Peanut sauce (sambal kacang) - same as sauce for satay
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/3 cups raw peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • A thin slice of shrimp paste (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind water or juice of a lemon
  1. Boil the vegetables separately in slightly salted water, for 3-4 minutes, except the beansprouts which only need 2 minutes. Drain each vegetable separately in a colander.
  2. To serve, arrange the lettuce and watercress around the edge of a serving dish. Then pile the vegetables in the middle of the dish. Arrange the eggs, sliced potatoes or lontong, and sliced cucumber on top. Heat the peanut sauce in a small saucepan until hot; add more water if it is too thick. Adjust the seasoning, and pour the sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle the fried onions on top. Serve warm or cold. If you want to serve hot gado-gado, it can be reheated in a microwave oven. When reheating, however, do not include the lettuce and watercress, cucumber slices and fried onions. Add these garnishes immediately before serving.

Peanut sauce:

  1. Stir-fry the peanuts for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain in a colander, and leave to cool. Then pound or grind the nuts into a fine powder, using a blender, coffee grinder, or pestle and mortar. Discard the oil, except for 1 tablespoon.
  2. Crush the garlic, shallots and shrimp paste in a mortar with a little salt, and fry in the remaining oil for 1 minute. Add the chilli powder, sugar, soy sauce and water. Bring this to a boil, then add the ground peanuts. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes thick (about 8-10 minutes). Add the tamarind water or lemon juice and more salt if needed.
  3. When cool, keep in a jar in the fridge. Reheat as required. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Last updated: October 12, 2010