Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad that combines raw and cooked vegetables, tofu and peanut sauce. It is seriously delicious and very hearty.
My version is not at all authentic. It was a cold night in the UK so I made the vegetables more seasonal and served it all a bit warmer than you'd usually have it.
Gado Gado (serves 2, abundantly)
1 bag bean shoots
half a peeled cucumber
half a shredded red cabbage
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into batons
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into batons
Fried tofu cubes (I used about 6 each because we like them)
1 hard boiled egg, peeled and cut into quarters (optional - obviously leave it out if you are serving a vegan)
125g crunchy peanut butter (please god choose a no sugar, no hydrogenated vegetable oil one - the ingredients should just be peanuts and maybe salt)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
chillies (this is between you and your palate - I used 1 very hot serrano chilli to give it some serious oomph)
water (200ml or thereabouts)
1tbs dark brown sugar or palm sugar
1 small can coconut cream
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2 dried kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp tamarind paste
1tbs soy sauce
Juice of a lime
Start by putting the sweet potato pieces in a roasting tin with a little oil, and baking it at 180C until soft and starting to brown.
Then make the sauce - in a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic and shallots. When they are translucent add the chilli and peanut butter. When the peanut butter melts (stir it constantly, it is likely to catch) add the sugar, coconut cream, ginger, lime leaves, tamarind and soy sauce. Bring to the boil, and add enough water to loosen it to a good consistency. Bring to the boil again and add the juice of a lime. Remove from the heat.
When the sweet potato is just about done, do the other veg. Blanch the bean shoots and cucumber, drain well and divide between 2 large bowls. In a wok or saute pan, stir fry the cabbage, onion, carrot and tofu until the vegetables are tender but still slightly crunchy. Place a layer of the stirfried vegetables over the bean shoots and cucumber. Top this with slices of the roast sweet potato.
Pour a generous amount of the still-warm peanut sauce over the vegetables and garnish with the hard-boiled egg quarters. If you aren't using them, some shreds of crisp deep-fried shallots would be good instead. Or as well.
Any left-over sauce is really delicious cold as a dip.