Gado-gado is an Indonesian dish of vegetables covered with a seasoned peanut sauce. It’s very versatile because you can use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand, although cabbage, particularly nappa cabbage, bean sprouts, green beans, bitter melon (seeds removed) and corn are traditional. You can vary the spiciness of the dish by adding hot peppers to the vegetables or a bit of your favorite “heat” to the peanut sauce, such as cayenne pepper, hot pepper flakes, tobasco, or other hot sauce. This is a hearty vegetarian specialty. I’ve brought this to more than one ravenous postpartum mother and it always gets rave reviews.
1 lb. firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground coriander
6-8 cups sliced assorted fresh vegetables (onion, cabbage, peppers, bean sprouts, celery, green onion, etc.)
2 T. olive oil
4 cups cooked brown rice
Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
sesame seeds for garnish, optional
Slice and fry tofu according to these instructions up to the point you add the seasonings–you’re going to season this differently: Toss the fried tofu cubes in the 2 tsp. soy sauce and the ground coriander. Set aside.
Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
I included bitter melon in my veg mix and thought I’d show you what a bitter melon looks like when you open it up.
. . . and slice it:
Saute the vegetables together in a large skillet in the 2 T. olive oil until crisp-tender.
To serve, place a base of rice on the serving dish or divide between individual plates to serve restaurant-style. Add vegetables and tofu and top with peanut sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds.
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to taste(optional)
3/4 to 1 cup water
Combine all ingredients up to the water in a medium bowl. Add water in increments until it is incorporated. It will seize up a little on you as the water cools the peanut oil. Don’t worry, as you add more water and blend it will calm down. Add additional water as needed until it reaches a pourable, saucy consistency.