Gado-gado. Balinese Warm Salad with Peanut Sauce Dressing. GF recipe.

As the cold weather swings around, we often find ourselves wishing for tropical empty white-sand beaches with a glass of delicious smoothie and bowl of exotic treats. Balinese food gets me excited every time I remember these days (and years) we have spent on the beautiful island. Gado-gado is an iconic favorite, a hearty Indonesian salad consisting of seasonal steamed vegetables, fried tofu and tempeh, eggs and a sweet mouth-watering peanut sauce. A healthy, veggie-loaded, protein-rich salad drenched in the most flavourful, luscious peanut sauce that you’ve ever tasted. Gado-gado has myriad variations, I’d like to share one of my faves, you can quickly and easy to make it at home.

Tempeh is a product from soybeans cooked and fermented with a special culture. It has a firm chewy texture and a light nutty mushroom flavor. Tempeh is a nutritional superhero. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium.

Uncooked tempeh has almost no taste, but has an excellent texture and a high absorbency. It absorbs flavors even more readily than tofu does!

Tempeh is a traditional product originating from Indonesia. Indonesian cuisine makes the tempeh absolutely amazing dish. What is the secret? The secret is in the marinade! The tempeh necessary to marinate in a rich spicy sauce, and then evaporate the liquid. Get cooking with this flavorful recipe!


4 Serves

  • 700g baby potato, scrubbed and washed, cut into halves
  • 1/4 of head red cabbage, cut into 4 chunks
  • 1/4 green cabbage, cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 big carrot, peeled, cut into sticks
  • bunch of French beans or long beans
  • bag of spinach, washed, stems removed
  • 1 pack of tempeh or firm tofu, sliced into triangles
  • 2 hard-boiled free-range eggs, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup coconut dressing/marinade
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, seeded, cut into sticks
  • cooking oil

For peanut sauce dressing:

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 shallot or one small size onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 Tsp grated ginger (or Kaempferia galanga, if you have it)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • Hot water
  • 1/2 fresh red chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste, optional
  • Salt

To serve: 

  • 1/2 cup roasted and chopped peanuts
  • sweet soy sauce Kecap Manis
  • chili sauce Sweet Sambal
  • rice or tapioca crackers
  • crispy shallots


  1. Carefully lay tempeh into spicy coconut marinade and gently mix. Marinate for about three hours in the fridge. For best result marinate overnight.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Fry the tempeh for a few mins each side until brown and crispy, then transfer to a plate.
  3. Put baby potato and carrot sticks into a steamer or colander set over a pan of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for about 10-15 mins or until soft. Transfer to a plate. Steam cabbage (7 minutes), green beans (3 minutes) and baby spinach (2 minutes). Don`t allow to overdo the vegetables. It`s very important to keep the color and vitamins.
  4. Squeeze the spinach leaves to remove excess of liquid. Press them slightly, then cut into slices.
  5. For peanut sauce. Put garlic, onion, chili, ginger and coconut oil in the food processor or blender and blend into a paste.
  6. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over low medium heat. When it’s hot, add the paste and cook until onion is translucent about 3 minutes.
  7. Add peanut butter, mix in about 1 cup of hot water using a silicone spatula. Add kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, and shrimp paste. Boil the sauce over low heat until it thickens. Add more water by tablespoonfuls if sauce too thick. Remove kaffir lime leaves. For a very smooth texture use the stick blender and blitz it for a few minutes. Keep in fridge up to 3 days.
  8. To serve. Put warm steamed vegetables, cucumber sticks, tempeh, and eggs in bowls or arrange on a platter. Drizzle the salad with plenty of peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce Kecap Manis, sprinkle with crispy fried shallot and chopped peanuts. Serve with chili sauce and rice crackers. Enjoy!







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