Gado Gado – a delicious Indonesian meal
Although we’ve posted only pasta so far, we really do like to draw on cuisine from all over the world. Hopefully you will start to see that over time. So, the weather has been really warm here – 29 celcius in Leiden today – and so a dinner that is fast, light, and not too hot was necessary. The Indonesian meal Gado Gado totally hits the spot on a day like today (better still eaten in our magnificent garden). CIA’s Mum made this for us about a year ago and we’ve tried to meet her excellent standard.
What you will need:
Mung beans; cabbage; potatoes; eggs (hardboiled); tofu; green beans; satay sauce; kroepoek (or casava chips); rice
And here’s how to construct it:
The idea here is that you want to cook up all your vegetables in stages (you can have two or three things on the go at once, depending how big your kitchen/stove is, and how much you like or don’t like multitasking) and then you construct it into an impressive looking plate of deliciousness (as pictured). Gado gado is essentially like a warm or cold salad, usually served with rice. We haven’t given amounts here, as you will just need to cook it in amounts appropriate to however many people you are wanting to share this with. But general proportions would be 30% cabbage, 25% potatoes, 25% green beans, 10% eggs, 10% tofu.
This is the order we would organise things in, but you can feel free to mix it up and do whatever you find works best for you!
First, chop your potatoes into small-medium size pieces, and boil until just cooked – take care not to over boil the potatoes, the last thing anyone really wants is a waterlogged potato, right? Drain the water off and let them cool. Alternatively, you could boil the potatoes whole, and slice them up (into slices or pieces) after the potatoes are cool.
Get your eggs on to boil, and hard boil them (boil for about 5-7 minutes and then drain the hot water off and soak in cold water).
Slice up the cabbage and cook it in boiling water – until it is at a crunchy edible stage. Again, don’t over cook it (what applies to potatoes above also pretty much applies here to cabbage too). Again, drain the water off, leave to one side. I guess you could say you just want to blanch it.
Cook your green beans in boiling water – again make sure they are cooked crunchy. Blanch your mung beans in some hot water very briefly, or in a steamer.
Finally, to cook your tofu. Here you want to work with firm tofu, and chop it up into medium size cubes/rectangles and fry it off in a frying pan until it’s nice and golden and crispy on the outside (we favour a mix of sesame and olive oil for doing this.
For the satay sauce, you can make this yourself if you want to, but for a short cut you can buy pretty good stuff at the supermarket these days (we admit we have done this of late!), and you can always add some extra chilli to heat it up or some cream or milk if it’s too spicy for your liking.
Now for the fun part, now that all the boiling and cooking of stuff is done (I know, it seems like a lot!). Take a big serving plate, and layer on the cabbage, potatoes, green beans, mung beans and tofu. You might like to mix the eggs in, or lay them around the edges. Spoon over generous amounts of satay sauce. Top with kroepoek if you want to, and serve with rice.
– PJD and CIA
Photo by CIA; plate of delicious Gado gado also by CIA