In this cold lockdown, I often catch myself daydreaming of travelling to sunny shores like Bali, which is where this healthy, protein-packed, filling salad originates. Well, Indonesia to be exact. But just because we’re stuck at home does not mean we can’t travel with our palates!
When I was doing my yoga teacher training course in Ubud, I needed food that was healthy, but affordable and most importantly: it must fill me up! Gado Gado salad became a staple for me. Each eatery made it slightly differently, but there are certain elements that always tie it together…
The classic Gado Gado filling salad
Remember that Bali is a predominantly Hindu island, so there is a lot of vegetarian food on offer. The classic Gado Gado is vegetarian – with eggs. Some restaurants served the salad with some chicken pieces to dip in the peanut sauce dressing. Others serve tofu for extra protein (like this recipe here by Jamie Oliver). Some restaurants also serve the salad with an extra bit of crunch, in the form of prawn crackers. Now, I know this must be sounding loony to a South African who is used to Greek and Italian-style salads. But bear with me. The other classic ingredients making up a Gado-Gado salad are:
- baby potatoes
So, you can see from this list that in addition to the protein, we have: fibre, crunch, antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium and good carbs! See? A filling salad is possible!
The perfect Gado Gado peanut sauce
This peanut sauce is so creamy and yummy! The idea is that you serve it alongside the salad and everyone can drizzle on as much as they like. So, here’s what you need:
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 100g crunchy peanut butter
- Juice of two limes
- 50g brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 to 2 chillies, chopped
- 60ml coconut milk
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste to check the balance of flavours and adjust the ingredients to suit your palate. If you have leftover sauce, add it to a stir-fry or use it as a dipping sauce for rice-paper spring rolls.