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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.
Course Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Indonesian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Asian Food, caesar salad, Indonesian Food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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.