Is that peanut butter on your salad? (Gado Gado)


That would be weird.

No, this is peanut sauce, the perfect complement to Gado Gado.

And what is Gado Gado, you ask?

The coolest way to stay cool in Indonesia.

Made from an assortment of tofu, tempeh, young jack fruit, cooled boiled potatoes, eggs, and green beans, Gado Gado is a dream-come-true for those of us who like to use leftovers. Of course, to keep things fresh and crunchy, most Gado Gado salads also add a blast of cabbage and sprouts.

If that sounds too healthy, no worries. While I went light on the peanut sauce, I’ve read that many salads are swimming in the stuff.

I got the same effect by dipping each bite until totally coated in peanut sauce.

It was brilliant.

What are we waiting for?

Let’s hit up a floating market and make some Gado Gado.

Floating island in Borneo. Photo by Harri J.

Ingredients for 2-4

2 handfuls green beans, steamed and cooled
4 small red potatoes, boiled, cooled, and quartered
4 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled, and halved
1/2 package tempeh, pan fried in oil
8 oz tofu, pan fried in oil
1 can young jack fruit, sliced in bite-sized chunks
handful bean sprouts
cabbage, to taste

As for the Peanut Sauce? That recipe will be up tomorrow.

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  1. What does jackfruit taste like? I haven’t heard of it before.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      It reminds me a little of heart of palm – it’s very mild. Once it ripens (ie. no longer “young”) it can be sweet.

  2. Pretty platter. I love arranging meals in platter form. It’s more fun to eat when you are mixing and matching each bite.

  3. Brian S. says:

    I love gado gado. And Nasi Goreng. I always felt a slight frisson of sin when I ordered that because it reminds me of the number two Nazi, Goering. Anyway it’s amazing how many wonderful savory dishes feature peanut butter. Gado gado. Satay sauce, perhaps. Japanese salad dressing. Some stellar West African soups. And by coincidence last night I made cold spaghetti with peanut butter! Easy. Just combine two tablespoons soy sauce, three tablespoons red wine vinegar, one tablespoon sesame oil, dash of ginger powder, dash of garlic powder, one teaspoon sugar, one-fourth cup peanut butter. Blend into a smooth paste, which involves slowly mashing the peanut butter with a fork until it blends with the other stuff and then stirring with a spoon. Pour over about half a pound of room temperature spaghetti and mix well. Eat it.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Sounds like total comfort food… I would probably stir fry the noodles first, though, to get them a little golden/crispy. Yummmm.

  4. John Goodenow says:

    I do this, too, topping it with a few steamed shrimp, some sliced green onions, and some thin cucumber slices. Makes a cool and refreshing meal.

  5. elisa waller says:

    tick tock…tick tock……I anticipate your peanut sauce recipe…in other news..your meal looks wonderful…I simply love it..ihave never tried jackfruit and have no idea what it is..gonna look it up on line now!

  6. We ate many version of gado gado while in Bali last year. We found that some restaurants served it more like a salad (lettuce, tomatoes, tofu, eggs) with peanut sauce on top while others served it with steamed/boiled vegetables. All were good, but we found it really difficult to photograph – it’s hard to make a pile of peanut sauce look appetizing! Although, you managed to do this with your photo here :)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks Audrey- It’s definitely all about ordered chaos when it comes to photographing salads. I wish I could have tasted the real thing, like you two.

  7. This was my first time having tofu, and I have to admit, it wasn’t all that bad (the husband thought it was cheese!). One thing I didn’t like though was the young jack fruit. I won’t be adding that in next time :-)


  1. […] the dishes we’ve cooked so far also make an appearance in Malaysian cooking, like Gado Gado [recipe], the cool vegetable salad served with peanut sauce, or rempeh [recipe], a seasoning paste served […]

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