Sunday 11 May 2014

Gado Gado - #BettaRecipe

Gado Gado is a salad that is popular in Indonesia. It can be eaten as part of a rijstaffel of many dishes, but also makes a great stand alone meal. This is my version of it, which is my entry for the Betta Living vegetarian recipe competition - you can read about the competition here.

For the dressing:

2 heaped tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablepsoon Ketjap Manis (thick, sweet soy sauce - if you can't find this, use Chinese soy sauce and add a teaspoon of black treacle)
½ teaspoon Sambal Oelek or dried crushed red chilli flakes
juice of 1 lime
200 ml water

heat all ingredients together, stirring constantly. As it comes close to boiling, it will appear to curdle, but just keep stirring and after a few seconds of boiling it will come together to form a smooth paste. Set aside to cool. You can make this hotter or milder, to taste, or add brown sugar or treacle to sweeten it, thin it down with more water or thicken it with more peanut butter,  or replace the water with coconut milk - it can be different every time you make it. Tamarind juice and - if you can face it- blachan are interesting additions.  And it makes a great satay sauce or dip for crudités too.

For the salad:

2 free range eggs, hard boiled and sliced
½ block of firm tofu, diced into 2 cm cubes and fried in a little oil until golden then cooled (optional)
 2 carrots, cut into batons about twice the size of a matchstick
100g green beans, cut into 5cm segments
100g Chinese leaves, cut into pieces about 3cm wide
100g beansprouts
quarter of a cucumber, cut into batons  the same size as the carrots
a large handful of watercress sprigs
toasted cashew nuts to garnish

Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop in the carrots. After 2 minutes, add the beans and after 2 more minutes the cabbage. Cook for a minute then add the beansprouts. Remove from heat as soon as it all comes back to the boil, and immediately rinse well in cold water to stop further cooking and keep the colours bright. Drain well and cool completely. Just before serving, mix in the cucumber and watercress, top with sliced eggs and tofu  (if using) and garnish with cashews

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