Gado Gado

Last night was the start of Indonesian week for us. Irish, Jamaican, and American week had their fair share of fried foods so we wanted get some roughage in us and give our arteries a break from being clogged.

So I made fried tofu and potatoes. I mean, if you’re going to eat fried food, it should be fried tofu, right? That makes it a little better, doesn’t it? No, no it doesn’t. So it goes.

We originally wanted to do Balinese food but when searching for recipes, I kept encountering Indonesian food. This left me perplexed. Does Bali not have their own food? Why is their food classified under a neighboring country? Why can’t Bali be great????

Bali’s food is classified as Indonesian because Bali is a province of Indonesia. Yeah. We thought Bali was its own country…so not only am I learning about food, I’m also learning about geography. The lessons abound in this project! Just this morning I was telling the almost four year old that she should strive to learn something new everyday. We’re having issues with her wanting to read books at night because she’d much rather watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Friendship IS magic but so is reading! I tried to explain that by watching tv, her brain is turning to mush and reducing her ability to learn because she isn’t taking the time to observe or analyze things. She then said “Momma, the light is red.” I should really listen to myself sometimes. I’m going to take my own advice and make an earnest attempt to learn something new every day; yesterday was that Bali and Indonesia are NOT two different countries. I haven’t learned anything new today.

Moving on.

From my extensive research, a.k.a I read two articles, Gado Gado is one of the most popular meals in Indonesia. It’s a veggie salad, plain and simple, however, the peanut sauce is what makes it exceptional. Everything I read, all two articles, mentioned how the key to a great Gado Gado was the peanut sauce. I did everything the recipe said in making the sauce but mine came out a little chunky and I say this just based on the pics I saw online. I don’t think it made a huge difference, it just meant that the sauce didn’t spread as easily across the whole plate.

I had to blanch the vegetables and James was curious as to the purpose of doing it. I don’t have a lot of experience with blanching so I told him that I thought it was to cook the veggies and retain their natural, crisp texture. This wasn’t entirely accurate. According to el interwebs, blanching is used to preserve the nutrients and color in veggies before freezing them. It also helps when stir frying veggies. If you blanch denser veggies, like broccoli, you can then add them to the stir fry with less dense veggies and they will all cook at the same time. This is actually something I’ve encountered when stir frying carrots; I never know how to get them to cook evenly with the other vegetables.

There’s my lesson for the day!

The salad was delightful and I had multiple servings. James took leftovers for lunch and I think would be a great lunch to prepare ahead for the week. My shrimp chips burned a little so it changed the whole flavor of them. I wasn’t a fan of that. I’ll do better next time and there definitely will be a next time!



4 thoughts on “Gado Gado”

  1. So, having lived in Amsterdam, where Indonesian food is to the city what Tex Mex is to Austin, I must admit it’s not my favourite cuisine (yes, ‘favourite’- my work computer is making me use UK spellings :P). I think it was largely because the hubs would make us order very heavy, very spicy, multi-course dinners- too much for my tummy to take. Having said that, I like the looks of this light and fresh dish MUCH more than the stewed-meats-in-heavy-sauce-accompanied-by-rice entrees that we’d have at those restaurants. How did you like the shrimp chips? I admit, though I do eat seafood, the shrimp chips freak me out a little bit!


    1. I would not have expected Indonesian food to be so popular in Amsterdam! Is there a large Indonesian population?
      I like shrimp chips a lot in general but I wasn’t so pleased with mine. They came out kinda greasy and the chips I’ve had in the past were never greasy. There used to be a bar/restaurant on 4th called Saba Blue Water Cafe that would serve them with soy sauce and another sauce I couldn’t ever place. They were deeeeelicious, like shrimp flavored chips but light like puffs. I know that sounds gross but they were so good! I’ll perfect my shrimp chip making before you move back so I can make some for you 🙂


  2. I never knew that about blanching! Although I did know that both friendship and reading are magic 🙂 thanks for the lesson. This sounds sooooo good


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