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Gado Gado - Classic Indonesian Salad

This classic Indonesian salad recipe with spicy peanut sauce is a great staple to feed your vegetarian and vegan friends and yourself. Never forget yourself.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Asian, Indonesian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Asian Food, caesar salad, Indonesian Food
Servings: 4


For the sauce

  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 3 red chilies de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsp trassi fermented prawn paste, miso paste will make it vegan
  • 1/2 tsp galengal powder or 1/2 inch fresh, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp peanut butter whatever you have in the house
  • 3 key lime leaves smashed and bruised
  • 1/4 solid creamed coconut
  • 1 tbsp ketjap manis Indonesian sweet soy sauce

For regular gado gado

  • lettuce of choice I like little gems
  • 1 boiled egg per person, omit if you're vegan
  • tofu puffs as many as you like
  • 1 c bean sprouts cleaned or not, definitely not cooked
  • 2 c new potatoes boiled for about 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cucumber thinly sliced

For the coleslaw

  • 1 c red cabbage grated
  • 1 c white cabbage grated
  • 1/2 c carrots grated
  • 3 spring onions sliced into rings


  • In a small saucepan, bring the shallots, pepper, clove of garlic, trassi, galengal, tamarind, palm sugar, key lime leaves and salt to the boil with about a cup and a half of water.
  • Stir in the peanut butter.
  • Let it come to a boil again, add the creamed coconut and stir until dissolved.
  • Finish with the ketjap manis to give the sauce a slight gloss.
  • When the sauce has cooled completely,either mix it into the cabbage, carrot and spring onion to make a coleslaw for Indonesian chicken and waffles or add a nice big dollop of it to a pretty plate of mixed veggies, tofu puffs, new potatoes and boiled eggs.