This Gado Gado salad was a new one on me and to be honest when Hubby first suggested it for dinner a couple of days after Christmas instead of the left over gammon with egg and chips I was less than inspired, it was cold outside and I really fancied something hearty and comforting, so I wasn’t really looking forward to this at all !

But oh boy, how wrong was I !!!! This salad is an absolute riot of colour on the plate and an explosion of flavours in the mouth, with every mouthful being completely different. The sauce is beyond good, so flavoursome, rich and the texture is smooth. Sorry, I got a little Jamie Oliver style over exuberant there for a second, but this salad really is that good, its PUKKA, LOL 😉

The only thing that I would change… the tofu ! Tofu did not go down well in our house with Rosie, Olly and Luca and even though Hubby and I were indifferent to it I would replace it next time with my beloved Halloumi .

Gado Gado has its roots in Sundanese cooking and has now become the typical street food of Jakarta in Indonesia. Gado-gado means medley or potpourri, which refers to all the different seasonal vegetables and ingredients that are used, making it slightly different wherever you go and whatever the time of year.

We had this as a dinner and it was more than hearty and filling enough to make you fill full and not missing meat, but I can not wait to serve it in a massive bowl that I have, in the summer, as a dig in and help yourself dish at a BBQ or party. Presented well, it truly is a stunning dish and as each part of the salad is separate, people can pick and choose and just take what they like.

So Happy New Year to you all, I hope you are not feeling to unwell after last nights celebrations and if you are and feel the need to detox, cleanse and just feel the need to stay away from the usual gluttony of the season why not try this fabulous Gado Gado dish.

Buon appetito

Note : Hubby got Jamie Olivers ‘Comfort Food’ and Tom Kerridge ‘Proper Pub Food’ for Christmas and I am really looking forward to trying everything that he cooks from them, I will try and post and report on any good ones.


gado gado

For the salad:
400 g new potatoes
4 large free-range eggs
400 g firm silken tofu
sesame oil
½ Chinese cabbage
2 ripe tomatoes
1 handful of radishes
½ cucumber
2 handfuls beansprouts (ready to eat)
½ bunch of fresh coriander
prawn crackers, optional
1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli, optional
For the sauce:
1 clove of garlic
50 g palm sugar
120 g crunchy peanut butter
1–2 fresh red chillies
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Prep all your salad ingredients.

Scrub the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for around 15 minutes, or until tender, then halve or slice up. Soft-boil the eggs for 6 minutes, or longer if you prefer them more cooked.

Cut the tofu into 2½cm chunks and fry in a splash of sesame oil for around 15 minutes, or until golden, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Finely shred the cabbage if you want it raw or, if you’d rather cook it (which is traditional), cut it into 2cm slices, place in a colander and slowly pour a kettle of boiling water over the top. Hubby gave ours just a gentle quick steam but I personally would of done it the kettle way, far quicker and easier and less washing up.

Cut the tomatoes into wedges, quarter the radishes and slice the cucumber, then season with a little salt.

Next, put all the sauce ingredients into a blender, peeling the garlic and grating in the palm sugar (if needed), then blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, the acidity of the lime needs to cut through the other flavours, so add a little more, if required.

If serving traditionally, you would take a little bit of everything, put it into a bowl and pour the sauce over the top, but Hubby served ours Jamie Oliver style and spooned the sauce between four bowls, spread it up around the sides, then divided the ingredients around the bowls. We used our large Emma Bridgewater bowls for this as they were the perfect size, but I also think this would look amazing served in a large serving bowl for a BBQ, party or as a side dish for any large get together.

Serve with a few coriander leaves, add the prawn crackers(we didn’t have these on this occasion) and some finely sliced fresh chilli (if using and you can handle the heat)and enjoy.

gado gado