After seeing the mouth-watering photos of this dish made by Carrie from thePatternedPlate, as well as reading other rave reviews about this yet-another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, I couldn’t wait to try this dish.
Gado-gado is essentially a salad dressed with a satay sauce. As far as satay sauces go, this is perhaps the most complex recipe I have ever come across! There are quite a lot of steps involved, not to mention quite a lot of ingredients. As you can see from my photos below, I used small red onions in place of shallots. I have a tendency to gather a small collection of different coloured onions and shallots and recently decided that, as a compromise, small red onions should do the trick whenever “onions” or “shallots” are called for. The sauce takes about an hour to make, so you will have to factor this time in when making this dish or perhaps even make the sauce the day before.
But is the result worth the effort? In a word, yes. As with any complex recipe, I am always skeptical about whether it will be a bad science experiment with unfortunate food waste, particularly when I was cooking the crushed peanuts in water and the mixture looked like … let’s not go there. But I was relieved when the sauce came together in the end and actually looked like a satay sauce.
And the taste? Pretty delicious. I don’t know if it’s the best satay sauce I’ve ever tasted, but it is no doubt the best satay sauce I have ever made!
The first time I served this dish, I was making it for a vegetarian friend. I used salad leaves instead of cabbage, and fried some pieces of firm tofu. I also cooked some potatoes in water with turmeric (as per the recipe), and whilst the turmeric gave a nice orange hue to the potatoes, I’m not sure if I really liked the taste. But I definitely added some hard-boiled eggs to the salad – there is something about hard-boiled eggs that make a dish so homely and comforting.
On the second occasion, I simply pan-fried some pieces of chicken breast to serve in place of the tofu. And as the satay sauce was not that hot (much depends on how hot the sambal oelek is), I added some freshly chopped chillies. I love ordering chicken satay skewers whenever I go to Thai restaurants and this is a nice variation in salad form. Also, this confirmed that the satay sauce went beautifully with chicken.
The recipe makes quite a lot of sauce, but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Simply reheat in a small saucepan over medium heat. If it is too thick, you can thin it by adding some coconut milk.
Overall, I really enjoyed this recipe. I’m not a big salad person but with the addition of potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and tofu or chicken, it’s a pretty substantial meal. Another winner of a recipe from Ottolenghi.