This composed vegetable platter is inspired by a classic Indonesian dish. Translated literally as “mix-mix,” that’s just what Gado-gado is — a mélange of raw and cooked vegetables, arranged on a platter and served with a rich peanut-coconut dressing.
Characteristic ingredients, which change according to season and preference, can include cooked potatoes and green beans; sprouts and/or green cabbage; carrots; tomatoes; and cauliflower is always welcome (or broccoli, though it’s less typical).
With tempeh or tofu as the usual protein on the platter, this is meant to be a substantial one-dish meal — it’s not the kind of salad that sits demurely on the side. Gado-Gado is a great way to inspire more salad enjoyment, especially during cool-weather months, and is a lovely platter to serve guests.
Peanut sauce: There are a number of good brands of Asian peanut sauce (some to be found in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets. Even better, if you have a little extra time, is making your own Coconut-Peanut Sauce or Salad Dressing. Either way, it’s what pulls this dish together and gives it a luscious flavor.
What to serve with gado-gado
Often served with plenty of cook rice, this vegetable platter makes a filling and memorable meal. Or, skip the rice and serve with a simple noodle dish like Hoisin-Ginger Udon Noodles with Bok Choy.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 8-ounce package tempeh (or swap in baked or seasoned tofu; see Note), diced
- 4 ounces slender green beans, tips trimmed (see note)
- 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup baby carrots (thick ones cut in half lengthwise)
- 2 to 3 ounces mixed baby greens
- 1 cup green sprouts, like baby pea shoots or broccoli sprouts
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced, or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Coconut-Peanut Sauce or Salad Dressing (see link to recipe in Notes) or 8-ounce bottled peanut satay sauce
- Peanuts, optional
- Heat the oil and soy sauce in a wide skillet. Add the tempeh and cook over medium-high heat until golden and crisp on most sides, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
- Spread the greens on a large serving platter, then sprinkle the sprouts over them.
- Place the green beans, cauliflower, and carrots side by side, without mixing, in the same skillet with about 1/2 inch of water. Cover and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all are tender-crisp. Remove each type of vegetable separately with a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander, and refresh under cool water. Drain well.
- As you refresh the green beans, cauliflower, and carrots, arrange them in separate mounds (you can arrange each in two mounds if you’d like) on top of the greens and sprouts, leaving room to add the tomatoes and tempeh (or tofu, if using). Arrange those on the greens as well, between the cooked vegetables.
- To serve, let everyone scoop a portion onto individual plates, then pass around the dressing to use as desired. If you'd like, pass around peanuts to use as a garnish.
When fresh green beans aren’t in season, use whole frozen baby green beans.
Use any variety of baked tofu; Thai-style or smoked are particularly good in this dish. Or, use an 8-ounce package of seasoned tofu cubes (such as Hodo); cut the latter into smaller pieces if desired. Unlike tempeh, neither of these options needs to be stir-fried, so omit the oil and soy sauce and skip Step 1.
Here's our Coconut-Peanut Sauce or Salad Dressing if you'd like to DIY.
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