If you listened to this week's interview with Jeff Keasberry, you'll know about the LA-based cookbook author's new book, Indo Dutch Kitchen Secrets: Stories and Favorite Family Recipes. Jeff has shared his gado gado recipe from the book with Feast Meets Wes listeners, so you can try make this classic Indonesian dish at home!
By Jeff Keasberry
This cooked vegetable salad is one of my family’s favorites. It is how it was always served at the restaurant, and is still made this way at home. It is suitable as a main course, a vegetarian option for lunch or dinner, and can also be served as a side dish. In Eastern Java it is prepared a little sweeter than in Western Java.
Gado Gado (Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing)
For the dressing:
4 shallots OR 1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sambal oelek
2 teaspoons fresh terasi (fermented shrimp paste) diluted with 4 tablespoons hot water
4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar, or 1 ounce gula jawa (palm sugar)
1⁄2 head cabbage, shredded
7 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
7 ounces fresh spinach
7 ounces taugé (bean sprouts), trimmed (tails removed)
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced into wedges 4 slices of tofu, fried and cubed
1⁄2 cucumber, unpeeled, sliced
1 large potato, unpeeled, boiled, sliced
4 tablespoons fried onions
1 package krupuk udang (ready-to-eat is most convenient)
Prepare the dressing: Heat the oil, and fry the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the sambal and diluted terasi, and while stirring, add the peanut butter and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat, and continue stirring to prevent burning. Water can be added if the sauce gets too thick -- it should not be too thick nor too thin. Add sugar and salt to taste; the sauce should be a little on the sweet side.
Prepare the vegetables: Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables separately, 3 minutes each; do not overcook, they should remain bright and crisp. Remove from the pan with a spider (perforated ladle), drain in a colander, and set aside. Bring the water to a boil before adding each new vegetable. Blanch the taugé for 30 seconds in hot water.
Serving and garnish: Place the vegetables in the center of a serving platter. Arrange the wedges of hard-cooked egg, tofu, cucumber and potato over the vegetables. Lastly, pour the peanut sauce over the vegetables. Garnish with fried onions and a piece of crumbled krupuk.
TIP: Serve with white rice or lontong (glutinous rice). Chill the rice, then cut into 1 inch slices. Vegan? Omit the eggs, and replace the terasi with 1⁄2 cube mushroom or no-beef stock, and the krupuk udang with emping (plant-based krupuk made from melinjo nuts).