Gado-gado recipes

Category: Starters and mains



  • 150g small new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, cut into sticks
  • 150g fine green beans, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 75g cauliflower florets
  • 350g tempeh or firm tofu, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for shallow-frying
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, halved lengthways
  • 60g beansprouts

For the gado-gado sauce (sambal kacang)

  • 300g roasted peanuts or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1tbsp dried red chilli flakes, or 1tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 7.5cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
  • 1-2tsp soft brown sugar, to taste (omit if using roasted peanuts)
  • 1tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2tbsp tamarind water, or lime or lemon juice
  • 1⁄2tsp salt, or to taste


Serves 4-6

Boil the potatoes in water to cover for 8 minutes or until tender, then drain. Boil a separate large pan of water. Plunge the carrots, green beans and cauliflower in the water and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain in a colander and set aside to cool. Marinate the tempeh or tofu in the soy sauce for 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the tempeh until golden. Drain on paper towels.

If using the red onion, heat oil for shallow-frying in the frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the onion slices until they are crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the watery seeds from the centre of the cucumber. Slice the flesh into sticks and set aside.

To make the gado-gado sauce, put the peanuts in a food processor or blender and add the garlic, half the coconut milk, the chilli flakes, garam masala, turmeric and sugar (omit if using peanut butter) and blend until a smooth consistency.

Put the mixture in a small pan over medium-low heat and combine with the remaining coconut milk, the dark soy sauce and tamarind water, then heat gently, stirring occasionally. Simmer gently for 7 minutes. Add a little salt to taste, and more sugar or chilli flakes if needed.

It should be sweet and spicy with a savoury depth.

To serve, put the vegetables, cucumber, beansprouts and tempeh onto a serving plate, and pour over some of the warm peanut sauce. Garnish with the crispy fried onions, if using. The peanut sauce will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Recipe credit: Recipes and photographs taken from Vegan Street Food: Foodie Travels from India to Indonesia by Jackie Kearney, photography by Clare Winfield (Ryland Peters and Small, £16.99)

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