Gado Gado – Indonesian salad with Satay

Gado Gado - an indonesian staple

This meal was tasty and interesting although a little time-consuming to prepare, so I enlisted Rich’s help to expedite things… Taken from ‘The Asian Vegan Kitchen’ by Hema Parekh, I used my own (family) Satay recipe instead as this didn’t involve deep frying peanuts….!

Basically, the main work is preparing all the veg/carbs: This is what is on the plate and how I prepared it:

Potatoes – cubed and deep fried until cooked
Tofu – silken tofu, cubed, dipped in cornflour and deep fried until golden
1 carrot, julienned, then blanched*
some cabbage, cut into ‘squares’, then blanched
2 handfuls beansprouts, blanched
cucumber sliced thinly

*to blanche, just add prepared veg to boiling water for abut 1 min, remove and refresh in iced water. (I ran out of ice, so just ran fresh cold from the tap, which was fine).

Grilled veggies with Satay Sauce

Omigod.  I’ve only really just finished eating this (well, after an episode of 24) but this needs shouting about!  So easy and  tastes amazing.  Bit of a fat warning, as there is a fair amount of peanut butter involved, but it’s worth it for the taste!

Grilled mediterranean veg with Satay sauce

Grilled mediterranean veg with Satay sauce

I simply made a Satay sauce first and set to one side. Then put some brown rice on to cook whilst preparing and grilling the veg.  I also cooked a half corn on the cob (boiled).

The veg I used were as follows (for two):
Peppers (1 red and 1 yellow)
1 courgette cut into long wedges
1 large portabello mushroom
4 shallots
3 tomatoes

Once sliced and prepared, I brushed all the veg with oil and seasoned, then cooked under the grill, turning half way through.  I did this in two batches due to space, and kept the first batch warm  in a foil-lined dish below whilst cooking the second.

Satay Sauce Recipe:
Prep time: 4 mins, Cook time: 8-10 mins
I’ve inherited this recipe from a Dutch Aunty (Jopie).  The Dutch are quite into their Indonesian food due to their colonisation of that part of the world up until the Second World War.  This version of satay is much thicker and westernised that a typical satay sauce you might get at a restaurant, and in my opinion, much better!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp veg oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
About half a pot of smooth peanut butter (you could use cruncy if you want the texture)
Ketjap manis, to taste (I guess I used about 3-4tbsp) – this is a special sweet soy sauce and is available from the ‘world foods aisle’ at many supermarkets. (great in stir fries – see my Indonesian Noodle Salad for another way to use it)
Water – approximately 1-2 cups
Sambal Oelek – about 2 tsp or to taste(this is an indonesian condiment – just chillies really, so you can add fresh chillies at the beginning, or even some chilli powder when cooking the onions)

Method
This is a real taste-as-you-go-along recipe to make sure you get the satay sauce you want.
1. Fry the onion and garlic gently in a little oil until it softens
2. Spoon in the Peanut butter and some water (I keep adding the water and allowing the peanut butter to melt and absorb it as I go, until I have the right texture).* The peanut butter may ‘separate at first, but keep stirring and it will blend in beautifully with the water. *Keep the heat low, as this has a high fat content and will spit quite violently if you’re not careful.
3. When you have the right consistency (I like mine fairly thick), add your ketjap manis and sambal oelek, stir in and taste. Add more of each according to what you prefer.  You’ll probably need more ketjap manis than you think is safe!  It darkens the colour of the satay as well as adds flavour.
4. Serve spooned onto the veg and rice and enjoy!