It’s been over ten years since I was last in Bali. A few friends have spent time there recently and looking at their pics on FaceBook this month reminded me of all the wonderful Indonesian food I enjoyed during my stay. One of my favourites was without doubt Gado Gado Salad.
The weather in the UK is finally warming up and I love summer salads. But not those boring, wilted lettuce / soggy tomato combos. I like a salad to become a meal in itself as oppose to a dull accompaniment!
Gado Gado is originally a sudanese dish. These days you will find it across Indonesia. It’s hugely popular in Jakarta where variations are served everywhere ~ from 5 star kitchens to humble street stalls. The ingredients vary slightly depending on what’s in season and what’s locally available. Most versions include egg, tofu and potatoes alongside from raw and steamed greens. The gado gado sauce is essential and really what brings the dish together.
Here is my version. With an absolute ton of health benefits in every single bite, including the sauce which I’ve made using this fantastic nut and seed butter. Its dairy free, trans-fat free, gluten free, salt free and sweetener free too. But tastes awesome. Really, this is the business! I am a huge almond nut butter fan but this goes over and above … both in terms of flavour and health benefits. In addition to roasted almonds, this beauty contains Roasted Hazelnut butter, Roast Almonds, Cashew butter, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Milled Flaxseed, Chia. You can buy it from these awesome guys at Wyldsson
Remember Gado Gado can vary depending on what’s available locally, so feel free to mix it up. Here’s what I’ve used.
INGREDIENTS (makes 2 salads)
Half a sweet potato
Handful of tofu
8 asparagus spears
Handful of green beans
Handful of beansprouts
Small handful of coriander
Sprinkling of sesame seeds
Teaspoon of coconut oil
Chunk of ginger
Clove of garlic
Half a tin of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of nut butter
Pinch of salt
Flat teaspoon of coco sugar (I used coconom tamarind infused)
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
Wash and chop the radishes and cucumber, peel the carrots and slice into thin strips. Divide the ingredients and split across two bowls, arranging them neatly around the centre. Add the beansprouts and tofu to each bowl too.
Peel and chop the sweet potato into large chunks. Boil a pan of water and add the chunks to the water once it’s boiling.
After 10 minutes add the eggs to the boiling water and place a bamboo steamer on top with the asparagus spears and green beans in it. Heat for a further 7 minutes before taking off the boil. I like my eggs with the yolk still a little runny. Boil longer if you like truly hard boiled eggs.
Drain the potatoes. Run the eggs under cold water so that you can easily peel them. The greens should be crunchy and bright green. Steaming them ensures they retain tons of flavour and nutrients.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE
Warm a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and add the shallots, finely chopped or grated ginger, finely chopped clove of garlic and a squeeze of lime juice. After frying on a gentle heat for 10 mins, pour in the coconut milk and keep the sauce on a low heat. Add your nut better, a pinch of salt and a little coco sugar. Keep stirring your sauce to ensure the flavours mix well. Once everything has melted nicely and combined together, turn the heat off and allow the sauce to cool. I like serving it over the salad warm but not hot. Simply drizzle over to add a delicious, nutty dressing.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds and fresh coriander over the salad and enjoy.