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Gado-Gado Salad

A refreshing spring salad full of Indonesian flavours that is easy to make with cupboard ingredients such as crunchy or smooth peanut butter for the accompanying dressing. I prefer peanut butter brands that are natural with fewest other ingredients and preservatives. 

For convenience and to save time we are using a modern cupboard ingredient, namely peanut butter for this recipe. For those interested in traditional methods, the peanuts are deep fried with the outer skin (but discarding the shell) which give the sauce a deep brown hue. I also like to use a mix of peanuts & cashews - and dry roast them if using traditional recipes.  


Edible wild flowers are a great way to brighten up your salad. Daisies provide a touch of bitterness to balance the

sweet, sour and spicy gado-gado sauce. Both daisies and dandelions are generally described as having nutritional and medicinal values, but I am not an expert on this.   


'Gado-gado' as an Indonesian term generally refers to a wide ranging mix of ingredients. 

Serves 4



Gado-gado can be so colourful - by the way, this picture was taken before adding the crunchy shallots!

For the salad:

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes and boiled

  • 4 medium eggs soft boiled for 6-7 minutes or hard boiled for 12 minutes. Remove the shell and cut in half before serving

  • 50gr cabbage, sliced thinly and blanched

  • 50gr runner beans, in half cm slices and blanched

  • 30gr baby spinach

  • 30gr pea shoots

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons or simply grated

  • 50gr beansprouts, rinsed and dried

  • 100gr tempe

  • 50gr escalion shallots (also known as banana shallots)

  • 12 dandelion and 16 daisy flowers rinsed and dried with kitchen towel - remove the stalks

  • Vegetable oil to deep fry the tempe

For the peanut sauce/dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter 

  • 2 red birds eye chillies (add more if you prefer a spicier dressing)

  • 100ml tamarind water (mix 50gr tamarind paste with150ml water by fork and hand and  then  strain); alternatively the juice of 2 limes and 100ml water

  • 2-3 tablespoon coconut sugar/soft dark brown sugar (or 3 tablespoons honey)

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated (optional)

  • Salt to taste


  1. Tempe & shallots: cut the tempe into small cubes, season with salt. Peel the shallots and slice thinly, season with salt. 

  2. Heat a pan with 400ml oil, deep-fry the shallots till golden brown and set aside. Separately deep fry the tempe with the same oil till golden brown and set aside.

  3. Mix all the peanut sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk gently to a creamy texture. Season with salt. Taste the sauce: a good balance of sweet, spicy and sour is best. Add more lime or chillies or even sugar till a good balance of flavours is achieved. 

  4. Blanch the cabbage, runner beans and spinach, drain and place on the serving plate with pea shoots, carrot ribbons and beansprouts and add the cubed boiled potatoes

  5. You may serve the peanut sauce separately in individual glasses or simply drizzle all over the salad.

  6. Add sliced eggs on top, the crunchy tempe and shallots, add the flowers and the dish is ready to serve. 

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