Gado Gado

  • Indonesian

  • Mains


Peanut sauce

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • 8 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups thick coconut milk
  • 2 tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Green beans, topped and tailed
  • 1/4 wombok, washed and sliced into 3-4mm slices
  • 3 bok choy, washed and sliced into 3-4mm slices
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 200g bean shoots
  • 2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, steamed till tender with skin on
  • 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 cm dice
  • 200g firm tofu, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
  • ½ bunch coriander washed and picked
  • 8 tot 10 krupuk (Indonesian deep-fried crackers)
  • 300ml vegetable oil
  • Kecap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy)


Peanut sauce

For the peanut sauce, mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut butter, chilli paste and sugar together in a small saucepan, add the coconut milk and heat, stirring almost to boiling point. Sauté the garlic, ginger and lemongrass in the oil for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Pour into the sauce and simmer gently for 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Allow to cool, then use a small amount to garnish the salad and put more in a bowl separately. If the sauce is too thick, dilute with a little water.


For the salad, blanch the beans in salted water maintaining the crispness and bright green colour, refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.

Quickly blanch (30 seconds) the bok choy, bean shoots and wombok separately, drain well and set aside.

Peel the cooked sweet potato and cut into 1 cm dice.

In a wok with hot oil fry the tofu until golden brown and crisp, remove and allow to drain on kitchen paper. Use the same oil to fry the krupuk until puffed and crisp.

Gently toss together the beans, bok choy, tomatoes, beans hoots, wombok and sweet potato season with salt and pepper and arrange on a platter, drizzle the salad with kecap manis and peanut sauce. Garnish with the eggs, crispy fried tofu and the krupuk. Finish with picked coriander.

Serve the salad with additional peanut sauce passed to your guests. You can also serve extra sliced chilli if you like it spicier.

About David Gilligan

Chef and Industry Trainer, William Angliss Institute

David was an Executive Chef at the Victorian Arts Centre, operated his own café and food business, and represented Australia twice at the Culinary Olympics receiving three gold medals!

He now teaches and writes about food and travel.

Brought to you by
David Gilligan, Chef and Industry Trainer, William Angliss Institute