Gado Gado (Indonesian Salad)

My memory of gado gado sauce is sweet, salty, tangy, and full of flavors from peanuts, garlic and shallots. This is my  second attempt at make-from-scratch gado gado sauce, after much adjustments, I got the sauce to the right consistency to my liking.

This is a time consuming recipe if you were to prepare this salad from scratch. Picking the kang kong and bean sprouts one piece at a time is a time sink, but I am real OCD about cleaning vegetables, there is no shortcut. Preparing the fried tofu, ground peanuts, and crispy fried shallots also involve lots of cutting, chopping, slicing, and frying. This is definitely not an easy recipe for the faint hearted. It is much more manageable if you prepare the different ingredients ahead of time. 

Cooking is therapeutic to me. Taking the time and savoring the fruits of the labor is what makes it fun and rewarding. Hope anyone who tries this recipe agrees 😁.


Peanut dressing

  • 100g peanuts
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 50g shaved gula melaka
  • 3 Thai Chilli
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste (balacan)
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • Juice of half lime
  • 2 Tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 1/2 cup water


  • Cabbage
  • Kang Kong (water convovulus)
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Firm Tofu
  • Hard Boiled Eggs


  • Ground peanuts
  • Crispy Fried Shallots


Peanut Dressing

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Stirring regularly. Adjust to taste with salt, sugar, and lime juice. Cool and set aside.


  1. Pick kang kong and bean sprouts. Rinse thoroughly and drain. Set aside.
  2. Cut green beans into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Cut cabbage into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Blanch all vegetable separately and arrange neatly on serving dish.
  5. Prepare hard boil eggs, peel and halve them. Add to serving dish.
  6. Cut tofu into cubes. Deep fry until golden brown. Add to serving dish.


  1. Add desired portions of vegetables, tofu, and hard boil egg onto serving plate.
  2. Sprinkle ground peanuts and crispy fried shallots on top.
  3. Drizzle peanut sauce over the salad.
Blanched green beans and cabbage
Fried tofu cubes
Painstakingly picked bean sprouts and hard boiled eggs.
Another time-consuming ingredient – Kang Kong
Almost ready.
Loaded with peanut sauce. Well worth the effort!

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