This vegetable salad is an Indonesian standby. The vegetables—green beans, cauliflower, cabbage and spinach—are slightly cooked to retain their firmness, and a typical ground peanut sauce forms the basis of the dressing. In Indonesia, gado gado is often served by itself, or with crackers or boiled rice.
This recipe is by Anne Willan and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 1/2 small head of cabbage, shredded
- 8 Ounces bean sprouts
- 8 Ounces green beans, cut in 2 to 3 pieces
- 1 small cauliflower, divided into flowerets
- 1 Pound fresh spinach
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into sticks
- Peanut sauce (recipe follows)
For the peanut sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) shelled fresh peanuts
- 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried hot peppers
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 Teaspoon brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Cups hot water, more if needed
- Salt and pepper
Step 1: In a large bowl, place 1/2 head shredded cabbage; pour boiling water over to cover; leave 1 minute; drain thoroughly. Set aside. Repeat process for 8 ounces bean sprouts, leaving only 10 seconds.
Step 2: In boiling salted water, cook 8 ounces green beans until tender, but still firm, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain; refresh under cold running water; drain thoroughly. Cook 1 small cauliflower (divided into florets) in boiling salted water until tender, but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes; drain thoroughly.
Step 3: Wash 1 pound fresh spinach thoroughly; discard stems. Put spinach in large pan with 1/2 inch water; bring to boil; cover; cook over high heat until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes; drain thoroughly; chop coarsely.
Step 4: All vegetables can be prepared up to 12 hours ahead and kept, covered, in refrigerator.
Step 5: One hour before serving, arrange all cooked vegetables, along with 1 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and cut into sticks) in piles on a rectangular platter or in wedges on a round platter. Spoon peanut sauce over vegetables; leave to marinate 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature.
For the peanut sauce:
Step 1: In a frying pan, fry 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) shelled fresh peanuts in 2 tablespoons peanut oil, stirring constantly until browned.
Step 2: Transfer to food processor or blender with 1/2 chopped onion, 1 clove peeled garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried hot peppers, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Puree until very smooth, adding a little hot water if necessary so mixture churns well.
Step 3: Work in more hot water, adding enough to make sauce that is thick enough to coat spoon. Transfer sauce to saucepan; simmer 2 minutes, stirring. Taste for seasoning. Note: Peanut sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and kept, covered, in refrigerator.