Gado Gado

Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing


Preparation info

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Growing Up In A Nonya Kitchen

Growing Up In A Nonya Kitchen

By Sharon Wee

Published 2012

  • About

A few years ago, my father and I went to an Indonesian restaurant and ordered gado gado. He told me that my mother’s gado gado was rather similar to the Indonesian version, as it included cucumbers and fresh lettuce. Our family also prefers to have ikan tamban crackers or prawn crackers with our gado gado.


Peanut Sauce

  • 45 g or ounce dried chillies, soaked hot water for ½ hour
  • 55 g or 2 ounces tamarind (assam), soaked in 2 cups hot water
  • 70 g or ounces shallots, peeled and diced
  • 30 g or 1 ounce garlic, peeled
  • teaspoons belachan
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 60 g or 2 ounces white sugar
  • 30 g or 1 ounce gula melaka
  • 40 g or ounce brown sugar
  • 10 g or 1 ounce salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 340 g or 12 ounces ground peanut


    Peanut Sauce

    1. Drain soaked chillies and set aside. Strain the tamarind juice and discard the seeds and fibre.
    2. Combine the shallots, garlic, red chillies and belachan and pound or grind to a fine paste. Heat a wok with some oil over low heat and fry the spice paste until fragrant.
    3. Add 1½ cups of the tamarind juice, followed by white sugar, gula melaka, brown sugar and salt. Stir till the sugars and salt dissolve. Add rice wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer. Stir in coconut milk and ground peanuts, continue to simmer till it reaches desired consistency. If gravy is too thick, add more tamarind juice to thin out. Set aside.


    1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to boil. After 20 minutes or so, when a knife can be inserted easily into a potato, remove and shock potatoes in a pot of ice cold water. Drain and leave to cool. Skin potatoes and quarter.
    2. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Using a strainer, blanch the cabbage, long beans and bean sprouts a portion at a time. Shock the blanched vegetables in a pot of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain in a colander, then leave on a large tray to cool.
    3. Add some oil to a hot frying pan. Shallow-fry the firm bean curd until it turns light golden brown. Rest it on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat to fry the fermented soy bean cakes. Rest these also on another plate lined with paper towels. When cool, slice the firm bean curd and fermented soy bean cakes into 2.5-cm or 1-inch squares. Set aside.
    4. To serve, arrange a bit of each vegetable, firm bean curd, fermented soy bean cakes, egg and rice cakes on serving plates. Dress with some of the peanut sauce. On the side, add a few prawn crackers.
    5. Let each guest toss his or her own gado gado just before eating.