Gado Gado


Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad. And to me this dish is nostalgic.

It is a simple dish. You can find Gado Gado all across Indonesia and it’s usually served as a side dish. When we were on holiday in Indonesia, this dish quickly became our favourite. Not just because it’s an easy way to get your daily amount of veggies, but because of the delicious peanut sauce that is served with it. I quickly learned that there are many types of peanut sauces!

Gado Gado is a nostalgic dish to me because it reminds me of the hours we spent snorkelling in Bali, followed by a late lunch at a small local restaurant. Gado Gado. Rice. And that delicious peanut sauce.

You can find different recipes online and there are different vegetable combinations that you can choose from. I chose vegetables that cook quickly, and used some frozen vegetables to make this into a quick and healthy meal. But we do make the peanut sauce ourselves, for which I faithfully follow this Dutch recipe.

Gado Gado is traditionally served as a vegetable salad with peanut sauce on top and accompanied with a hard boiled egg. But to make this into a filling meal rather than a side dish, we added some brown basmati rice. We also experimented with the protein and learned how to fry delicious tofu to go with this meal instead of eggs. Both versions are described below.

To note: if you search online for Gado Gado recipes, you may come across the suggestion to serve this with prawn crackers or ’kroepoek’ as they say in Dutch. The English name already gives away that this is not a vegetarian option. If you do want to serve it with crackers, we’d suggest going with cassava-based ones.

Gado Gado

10 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking — serves 2


  • 2 carrots
  • 250 grams green beans, frozen
  • 125 grams bean sprouts
  • 100 grams brown basmati rice
  • 250grams tofu OR 2 eggs
  • Soy sauce (leave out if using eggs instead of tofu)
  • Flour (leave out if using eggs instead of tofu)
  • Oil (leave out if using eggs instead of tofu)
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 0.5 tablespoon sambal oelek (if you can’t find this, you can use sriracha sauce instead)
  • 2 tablespoons of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • Lemon juice
  • Water

Preparing the vegetables and rice

  1. Wash the rice and bring to a boil in a pot of water. Cook for 19 minutes, drain and set aside. Adjust the cooking time if you are using a different type of rice.
  2. While the rice is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Cut the carrot into diagonal slices. Add to the green beans and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bean sprouts to the carrot and green beans and cook for another minute.
  5. Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Preparing the tofu

As we said in the introduction, Gado Gado is traditionally served with a hard boiled egg. The next step is a twist on this as we fry tofu instead. But if you prefer egg instead of tofu, skip steps 6-11 and boil two eggs for 8 minutes instead. Peel the eggs, cut in half, and set aside.

  1. Cut the tofu into slices.
  2. Place the tofu slices on kitchen paper. Cover with another layer of paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Repeat if necessary to get extra moisture from the tofu.
  3. Place the tofu on a flat plate and drizzle with soy sauce. Rub the soy sauce into the tofu, making sure to coat all sides.
  4. Heat a pan with some oil.
  5. Toss the tofu in some flour. Make sure all sides are covered but that the flower does not form a thick layer – light dusting is enough.
  6. Fry the tofu in c. 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Turn half way through.

Peanut sauce and bringing it all together

  1. Boil 300ml water in a kettle.
  2. Mix the peanut butter, sambal oelek, kecap manis, and a splash of lemon juice.
  3. Crush the garlic and add to the peanut butter mix.
  4. Slowly add boiling water and mix to make a thick sauce. Taste and add extra kecap manis (to make it sweeter/milder), lemon juice (for freshness) or sambal oelek (for a bit more spice) to taste.
  5. Serve the peanut sauce on top of the vegetables, with the rice and tofu/eggs on the side.
Enjoy your meal!

Did you like this?

Leave a comment below if you made this recipe, and let me know what you think. Tips and feedback to improve the recipe are always welcome too!