Gado gado is one of my all-time favourite dishes to eat when in Bali and is one of the most well-known Indonesian dishes to have travelled to the rest of the world. Essentially it’s a bunch of cooked vegetables bound together in a punchy peanut sauce: this is how it’s traditionally made and served, however I like to smear the sauce on the plates before topping with vegetables, so each person can mix their own when eating. I like to go the full deal and add crispy tofu chunks, boiled eggs and cassava vegetable chips, however you can leave the eggs out for a vegan version. You’ll find plain cassava vegetable chips at selected supermarkets and health food stores. I like to use them in place of the more traditional prawn (or shrimp) crackers, as these are laced with MSG and food colouring.
While developing this recipe I tested out many different ways of making peanut sauces until I was happy with both the texture and flavour. While not the fastest way to prepare peanut sauce, I found that hand-grinding the peanuts in a mortar and pestle first before adding the other ingredients gave by far the best results. No one will growl if you use good quality crunchy peanut butter, however.