Gado Gado Recipe

by Keith Brodland

Ingredients for Gado Gado

1 small head of lettuce
2 potatoes, cooked
1 ½ cups sliced green beans
1 ½ cups chopped fresh bean sprouts
1 ½ cups shredded white or Chinese cabbage
2-3 medium tomatoes
1medium onion
2-3 green onions
1 medium cucumber
2 slices canned or fresh pineapple
1 cup fresh herbs (cilantro, coriander, basil, parsley)
1-2 fresh red chilies
2-4 hard-cooked eggs
2 eggs, made into omelet shreds
Ingredients for Gado Gado Peanut Sauce

1 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 T. crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp. ground chili paste
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
1 cup thick coconut milk
½ tsp. crushed garlic
½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
½ tsp. minced lemon grass root
2 T. vegetable (or coconut) oil
Instructions for Gado Gado

1. Rinse lettuce and wipe dry. Arrange on wide platter.
2. Peel potatoes and slice thinly.
3. Drop the beans into a saucepan of lightly salted water and simmer for about 4 min, drain, refresh with cold water and drain again.
4. Pour boiling water over the beans sprouts and cabbage then drain immediately.
5. Thinly slice the tomatoes and onions. Trim the green onions and cut into shreds about 2” long. Peel the cucumber and cut into cubes, discarding the seeds.
6. Cube the pineapple.
7. Arrange the potatoes in a circle around the edge of the platter, slices overlapping. Place remaining vegetables and pineapple in a bowl; toss together. Pile into the center of the platter. Surround with herb sprigs.
8. Slit the chilies and scrape out seeds, cut the flesh into fine shreds. Quarter the eggs and arrange on the salad. Cover salad with omelet shreds and shredded chilies. Cover and chill.
Instructions for Gado Gado Peanut Sauce

1. First mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut butter, chili paste, and sugar together in a small saucepan; add the coconut milk. Heat, stirring almost to boiling point.
2. Sauté the garlic, ginger and lemon grass root in the oil for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. Pour into the sauce and simmer for 4-5 min, until the sauce is very thick, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
3. Allow it to cool. Pour into a dish or pitcher and serve with the salad.

History of My family and Gado Gado

It all began when my Great Grand Parents took their daughter, my Grandmother, and left the United States to become missionaries to Indonesia. During their stay, my Grandmother and her parents started a Bible school, The Beji Bible School, for anyone who wanted to receive an education in the field of ministry. Their school was very successful, but World War II started. They stayed as long as they was humanly possible, but had to evacuate due to Japan’s invasion during WWII. Nearly being killed, they were able to slip past the enemy ships to America and safety. Several years later my Grandmother married my Grandfather and they both decided that they should return to the Beji Bible School. As they were welcomed back by the current couple running the school, they both assisted them, until the couple wanted to leave. The couple left and turned the school’s responsibilities over to my grandparents. This is where my Grandmother started to really submerse herself into Indonesia food.

When My Grandparents decided to travel to Indonesia and minister to the local people, they also decided to adapt to the way Indonesian eat their food, so they could better relate and socialize with them. So, my Grandmother spent much of her time, when she wasn’t ministering, in the kitchen with the school’s cooks. During her time she would observe how the cooks made certain dishes and asked questions, so she could fully grasp the nature and process of making the food. But, she wasn’t the only one who asked questions. The cooks really saw this as an opportunity as well. They also asked how to make American food and the group of them really enjoyed receiving information about the other’s native food culture. One of the main dishes the cooks taught my Grandmother to make was Gado Gado.

Gado Gado has been in our family ever since my Grandmother learned to make it. My whole family enjoys this dish and many other Indonesian dishes and even prefers some to American dishes. Overall, I enjoy almost everything about Indonesia. The culture is very different to America, their food is different, and even their living conditions are magnificently different then Americas. I had the opportunity to experience this personally and I enjoyed it tremendously, but that is another story.


For a picture of Gado Gado, here is a link to another students photo of Gado Gado.

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