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).

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Tofu & stir fried veg with miso noodles

Tofu and miso with stir fried veggies

Realising that plain silken tofu and noodles in a miso (my original intention) would have been rather bland and unsatisfying to a fussy palate, I used whatever I could find in the fridge to jazz this up a bit!

Here are the ingredients – quantities are not measured, as they really are up to you and how much you want – there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Ingredients:
1 block silken tofu (firm), cut into bite size chunks
noodles
miso paste (I used a mixture of red and white, but if you only choose one, use red, like barley or brown rice miso)
veg stock
crushed garlic
red chillis chopped
pak choi/bok choi or any suitable soft greens like spinach or chard (this is what I used)
baby corn (finely sliced)
mushrooms (finely sliced)
yellow pepper (finely sliced)
spring onions (finely sliced)
fresh coriander

'bird's eye view' (but don't worry, the bird isn't likely to eat this!)

Method:
1. Cook noodles, drain and refresh with cold water to stop cooking – divide between bowls to be served in.
2. Stir fry your garlic, some of the chilli, peppers, baby corn, mushrooms, and some spring onions. When cooked, spoon ontop of noodles in their bowls.
3.  Meanwhile cook your pak choi (or other greens) by boiling for a couple of mins in the veg stock.
4. When wilted, take off the boil and stir in your miso paste (you mustn’t boil miso, as it destroys the goodness).  Taste the broth and add more miso until you like the flavour.
5. Scatter the tofu cubes onto the noodles and pour over the broth.
6. Garnish with your spring onions, chilli and coriander (you can add this to the broth at the end if you prefer).

Eat with a bib, as this is a messy, slurpy dish!  I’m told it’s considered polite in Japan to make slurpy noises when eating your noodles, as it’s a sign you’re enjoying the dish!  Not sure the Japanese would approve of my hybrid version, but we did!  With a nice kick from the chilli, fresh greenness from the coriander, wholesome goodness from the tofu and warmth from the miso – the stir fried veg just added that extra big of flavour and excitement: and we felt holier-than-thou eating it! nom nom…. slurp.

Tofu Miso Steaks with noodles

Tofu Steaks with noodles

Tofu Steaks with noodles

Thanks to my lovely hubby Rich for being the hand model in this pic!

Taken and adapted a little from the Wagamama cook book, I was nervous about cooking with tofu and have been for a while.  So it seems rather ambitious to be going for big hunks of the stuff for one of my first attempts!

I bought some brown rice miso and some sweet white miso at the supermarket as well as some tofu (by Cauldron), then found the recipe that resulted in this meal.  It was surprisingly tasty but also checked the ‘sanctimonious’ checkbox on the vegan chart! ha ha. It was so pure and healthy that I imagine I  shall be excreting nothing but natural mineral water and ash.

Here’s how I made it. (I measured nothing properly, by the way).

Open pack of (firm) tofu, drain, pat dry with kitchen towel and slice lenthways to make two ‘steaks’.  Make your paste to go on top:

about 1tsp red miso (brown rice or barley miso paste)
about 1 tbsp white miso
dash of sake (dessert spoon)
1 tsp sesame oil
generous pinch of togarashi seasoning
(original called for Schichimi, but can’t find the stuff anywhere – you could also use thai 7 spice – all this things seem to have chilli, orange or lemon peel, some poppy/seseame seeds and other stuff in varying degrees!  I got the togarashi from Waitrose)

mix together those ingredients then slaver on top of each miso steak.  Heat a griddle pan, oil it and then cook the steaks miso side up only for 6-8 minutes, making sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

Other ingredients required:
2 portions of noodles
greens (spinach or chard)
spring onions to garnish
coriander to garnish (I didn’t have any of this)
more miso to make broth
toasted sesame oil

In the meantime, cook some noodles: whatever takes your fancy – recipe called for rice noodles, but I used ramen.  I would have preferred to use a wholewheat noodle like soba, but they had run out 😦
When noodles cooked, drain and divide into bowls.

Steam or boil some greens.  When done and drained, place on top of noodles.

Prepare a miso broth (ie, just stir in some paste into some boiled water: don’t boil the broth as it kills the ‘friendly bacteria’ that is so good for you in the miso).  Then poor the broth to just cover the noodles and greens.

Place your cooked steak on top, garnish with spring onions (you could add chilli) and sprinkle over a little sesame oil.