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Gado Gado Sauce

Gado Gado means mix mix. It is a very popular dish in Indonesia, I just discovered it and would love to share it with you. Technically the sauce should be made with a stone mortar and pestle meaning the ingredients are crushed together, instead I use shop bought crunchy peanut butter and just slice the vegetables finely however, if you want to use a pestle and mortar, please just use whole peanuts and slice the vegetables less before cooking.


1 tablespoon of peanut oil (or vegetable)

2 shallots finely sliced

1 fennel finely sliced (optional)

2 cloves of garlic finely sliced

2 tablespoons of fish sauce or soy sauce

1 tablespoon of tamarind paste

1 large red chilli finely sliced

25g lemongrass finely sliced

220g crunchy peanut butter (I used half this as my peanut butter was quite flavoursome)

Juice of 1 lime

Brown sugar to taste (or palm sugar if you have it)


Saute the shallots in the oil for 3 minutes, then add the fennel if using and the garlic.

After a few more minutes, or when everything is fragrant and the shallots are translucent and starting to brown, add the lemongrass and the red chilli.

After 3-4 minutes add the tamarind paste, fish or soy sauce and the sugar if you feel the sauce needs it. Then turn the heat as low as it can go and mash a little or mix well adding the lime juice slowly. Or, if using whole peanuts, now is the time to transfer to your mortar and pestle.

Add the peanuts and stir well. Add sugar and salt to taste and serve.


Gado Gado sauce goes well with almost anything. Traditionally, it is served with rice and a large salad made of roast sweet potatoes, green beans and crunchy lettuce. I also love it with grilled cauliflower, peppers and almost any other vegetable. Some people serve it with tofu or even dip chips in it. Please experiment as you like, you can even store the sauce in the freezer and use it all year round.



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