Gado Gado

Gado-gado in Indonesian literally means “mix-mix”, as the salad is made with a rich combination of vegetables, tofu or tempeh, and hard-boiled eggs, all coated in a delicious peanut sauce dressing and topped with krupuk and sometimes a sprinkle of fried shallots. The vegetables used in this recipe are all fairly easy to find in most grocery stores, but feel free to substitute your favorites or experiment- potatoes, longbeans, bean sprouts, spinach, chayote, bitter gourd, corn, and cabbage are all popular options in other Indonesian recipes.

Don’t skimp on the peanut sauce when you serve this salad- the sauce is a larger component in gado gado than is usual for a dressing in Western-style salads. The vegetables should be well-coated with it, to bring together all the flavors of the salad.

This recipe serves four. Leftovers keep well, and make a great cold salad for lunch the next day.


  • 1 cup skinless raw peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 recipe quantity Gado Gado Spice Paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice or tamarind water
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 3½ ounces firm tofu, sliced
  • 5½ ounces trimmed green beans, cut into 2½-inch pieces
  • 5½ ounces bean sprouts or edamame beans
  • 1 small cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • sea salt
  • Indonesian shrimp crackers (krupuk)


  1. Set a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the peanuts and dry-roast until fragrant and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and roughly grind the peanuts in a food processor or blender until you have a fine powder with some chunks still left in. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant and the oil starts to rise to the surface. Add the lime juice (or tamarind water, if using), sugar, and 1 cup water, then season with salt. Tip in the ground peanuts and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu, and shallow-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu using a slotted spoon or chopsticks and and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then tip in the green beans and cook 3 to 4 until tender but still crunchy. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or spider, and  cool under running water. Set aside. Bring the water back to a boil, add the bean sprouts and cook about 20 seconds. Drain and set aside.
  5. Arrange vegetables, tofu, and eggs, and serve warm with shrimp crackers and plenty of peanut sauce.