When we talk about vegetable salad with peanut sauce in our family, we often think of Gado Gado.
A delicious dish, nutritious and fairly quick to prepare. This originally Indonesian dish enjoys worldwide fame as a meal and is served by street vendors, eateries as well as restaurants and hotels within and outside Indonesia. In Asia, nearly every country has its own version. In Indonesia there is a whole series of Gado Gado style salads, this includes; Lotek, Petjil, Karedok and Ketoprak, each again from its own region.
Depending on the dish most versions contain a combination of the following nutritious ingredients: carbohydrates provided by the lontong (compressed rice), and potatoes. The tofu, tempeh and eggs provide the protein and finally a variety of vegetables. Gado Gado is suitable for example for pesco-vegetarians (who eat fish and seafood) as the peanut sauce contains shrimp paste. Also suitable for ovo-vegetarians (eat eggs or dairy).
Below an overview of some important differences;
1) Gado Gado, from Jakarta. Blanched or cooked vegetables, mixed well with the peanut butter (not only as topping). The sauce contains palm sugar as a sweetener and can be prepared with coconut milk. Garnish with shrimp crackers. Served with rice and lontong
2) Ketoprak (see picture above) from Jakarta, street eateries, well known in Java. The vegetable mix contains lontong, tofu, ebi, cabbage, rice noodles and bean sprouts. The sauce is made from ground peanuts, palm sugar, soy sauce and garlic. Garnished with shrimp crackers and some soy sauce drizzled over it.
3) Karedok: from west Java / Sundanese. Sweetener in palm sugar sauce. Raw vegetables and tofu (related to the tempeh), topped with peanut sauce made with palm sugar as a sweetener and adding kentjur. Garnished with shrimp crackers and / or emping.
4) Lotek: from West Sumatra. The vegetables are blanched (cooked but still crisp). The sauce can be fortified with boiled potatoes and more garlic.
5) Pecel / Petjil; from middle / central Java. Spicy (pedis) of taste. Tofu and tempeh without egg. Is often served with rice or lontong. Can be used with fish, chicken, beef. Sauce contains kentjur. Garnish with prawn crackers and fried onions.
This recipe Petjil:
200 g peanut butter with nuts:
3 cloves garlic, baked / roasted
3 candlenuts, toasted and crushed
4 red peppers, baked / roasted
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
6 cm kentjoer
7 djeroek poeroet (lemon leaves)
2 tsp. tamarind with 100 ml of water mix.
1 tsp. shrimp paste (fermented shrimp paste) mixed with 2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. palm sugar
beans / green beans
Blanch the vegetables. It is intended that the vegetable remain crisp. Mix the peanut butter with 125 ml of water. The other ingredients are finely chopped and fried in a tablespoon of oil. Add the dissolved peanut butter, stirring constantly until sauce is warm.
Mix the vegetables with the sauce. Serve on a plate and garnish with prawn crackers and fried onions.
© 2012 Jeff Keasberry