For years, gado gado has been the vegetarian’s punishment, a heavy, bland beancurd and vegetable salad doused in peanut sauce. But when it’s fresh, lively, crisp, crunchy and highly spicy, it immediately becomes the vegetarian’s - and everyone else’s - reward.
Place beancurd squares on a dinner plate and weight with a second plate on top for one hour. Drain off water and pat dry. Separate leaves from lettuce, wash, dry and shred finely. Peel cucumber and slice finely. Cut the carrot into thin matchsticks.
Cut beancurd into strips, dredge in flour and fry quickly in hot oil. Drain and pat dry.
Pour boiling water over bean shoots, drain and rinse. Steam cabbage, cauliflower, carrot and green beans until lightly cooked. Lightly steam spinach until wilted. Cool to room temperature.
Arrange cucumber in an overlapping circle on the base of each of 4 dinner plates, as the base of a pyramid. Arrange sliced tomato on top, and then shredded lettuce. Top with a sprinkling of bean shoots, then the cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, carrot and green beans. Cut egg and potato into small cubes. Add beancurd, egg and potato on top of pyramids. Pour peanut sauce over the top, and sprinkle with deep-fried shallots.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.