Gado Gado (Indonesian Rice Salad)

I know spring has really started when my allergies go crazy, and this week, the fun began. I never had any allergy issues until I moved here, but now they show up right around my birthday every year, giving me really attractive red eyes and an awesome nasal-y voice. After about a week, I usually have so much congestion that I can’t really taste my food. And of course, nothing really works (I’ve tried pretty much every allergy drug there is).

So since I know that’s coming, I wanted to make something really flavorful and healthy, with lots of different textures. This is not only beautiful to look at thanks to all the different colors, it’s also loaded with nutrients. I am sure this peanut sauce isn’t totally authentic, because I looked up an Indonesian recipe and the real stuff has tamarind, lime, and coconut. But authentic or not, I love all the raw vegetables and the fragrant turmeric rice. The most crucial part is the crispy shallots on top. I know frying isn’t healthy, but it’s just a little bit, and the flavor and little crunch is absolutely worth it.

I diced up some of Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu (extra firm) for protein, but if you eat meat, I think shredded or diced chicken would work well. The recipe also suggests diced hard-boiled eggs, which I could see being pretty good too.

Recipe:
(adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

serves 4-6

2 cups brown rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric

6-8 cups washed, roughly chopped spinach
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
3 carrots, shredded
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 block high protein tofu, diced

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/3 cup warm water

2 tbsp oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

First make the rice, by combining the water, rice and turmeric in a rice cooker or by cooking on the stove.

Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork.

To make the peanut dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside

To make the crispy shallots, heat the oil in your smallest frying pan. When hot, add the shallots and stir occasionally until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble each salad: Put down a bed of spinach (1-1 1/2 cups). Top with about 1/2 a cup of rice. Top the rice with some cabbage, carrot, tomato, and tofu, then pour some dressing over that and sprinkle with the shallots.

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18 comments to Gado Gado (Indonesian Rice Salad)

  • Hi Cate, salad looks delish. Have you tried using a Neti pot? I’m in the same boat with allergies, but a daily Claritin and the neti pot helps me a lot.

  • I fell in love with gado gado when i first had it in jakarta. yum!

  • MarileeBob

    Hi, love your site! I too have allergies and one of my co-workers told me (after a huge sneezing fit this a.m.) to try echinacia. Im going to try it!

  • I love Gado Gado – I made this a couple weeks ago (couldn’t believe I’d managed to never make it for my husband!). I did mine with potatoes and eggs, though I love it with rice, too. :)

  • This salad is just the kind of thing I like to eat!

    Looks delicious! :)

  • The Gado Gado I know is an Indonesian salad of tofu, beans, vegetables, garnished with fried shallots, dressed or dipped in peanut sauce. I’m new to the rice factor here.

  • I’ve always wanted to make this from Mollie’s book but was always daunted by the serving size. But I shouldn’t be. It looks so delicious and your picture is so brilliant.

  • I love Moosewood recipes, so I’m not surprised at how good this sounds! Never heard of the high-protein tofu – I’ll have to look for it.

  • What a beautiful colorful salad! Sounds so delicious too.

  • That salad looks good! I like the use of the peanut butter in it!

  • [...] Gado Gado (Indonesian Rice Salad): (adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen) [...]

  • [...] one comes courtesy of Cate’s World Kitchen (via Gojee – check it out, it’s rad-awesome when you’re looking for ideas). [...]

  • Sounds delicious. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog today – you’ve got so many great recipes that I can’t wait to try!

  • Rea

    I’m so glad that you guys here are interested to try this one. I am very happy finding out that a foreigner love our traditional food. Actually, there are some kinds of salad here besides gado-gado, they are all quite the same. there are karedok (uses raw vegetables), lotek, urap, and even lalapan (mixed raw vegetables and you eat them by dipping them to Sambal terasi). They all have great tastes!
    by the way, I’m an Indonesian. nice to know you all.

  • Kenny

    Hey, gado-gado don’t have any rice and there’s a peanut sauce

    I’m indonesian!

  • Cate

    I know… I figured the Moosewood recipe wasn’t terribly authentic, but it’s delicious!

  • Margie

    This “Gado-gado” look good, but no rice in original Indonesian Gado gado. Usually : Tofu, tempeh, hard boiled egg, salad, bean sprout, long beans and some other vegetables.

  • Alfi

    Actually “Gado-gado” here in Indonesia are not using the rice but using “ketupat”, it’s kinda rice that cooked with the coconut-leaf. There’s another vegie culinary if you’re visiting Indonesia, like Karedok, Lotek, etc but with the diffrent kind of taste. But, I really glad to find “gado-gado” in this site. Good!

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