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Gado gado, By: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

A Gado-Gado Recipe while Dreaming about a Mansion

By: Jacobus E. Lato






Gado gado, By: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

Gado-gado, By: Monica Arellano-Ongpin





Gado-Gado is an Indonesian vegetable dish served with peanut sauce on top. It is often sold and enjoyed on the street. One night, several months ago, one of my friends told me a story while we were passing an up-and-coming area in Surabaya. “Jack, do you see that big house over there.” I looked towards the pointed direction. “It is owned by a gado-gado seller, who used to sell his food near the front yard of the house before. But now he is the owner of the house.”


I remembered vividly coming here with friends several years ago, patiently waiting in line to savor the seller’s excellent gado-gado. Hundreds of customers must have thought the same thing, because now the owner, Markus Maturo, hasn’t only bought this mansion, but also currently leads 6 automotive factories! If a similar from rags to riches experience awaits you after making gado-gado remains to be seen, but one thing for sure: Gado-Gado is a healthy, crunchy and delicious dish any time of day!


Gado-Gado Recipe

Ingredients (for 2):

A. One pack of lontong (steamed sticky rice)



B. Vegetables:

50 grams green beans

50 grams cabbage

4 or 5 fresh lettuce leaves

50 grams bean sprouts

1/2 cucumber and 1/2 tomato

Fried tempe and/or tofu (sliced dice size or a bit bigger).

1 boiled potato

1 boiled egg

Prawn crackers and/or emping


C. Sauce:

30 grams of peanuts fried in some oil

3 fried chilies and a red pepper (sliced before fried)

250 ml Coconut milk, salt, 1/2 spoon of tamarind sauce, 1/2 spoon of traditional palm sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of terasi (fermented fish paste), daun salam


How to Make Gado-Gado

  1. Grind fried peanuts, fried chilies and red pepper along with terasi and palm sugar to a paste. Pour all the ground spices into the pan of coconut milk and boil on a small fire, adding half a spoon of tamarind sauce, salt (according to taste) and daun salam and keep on stirring to prevent the sauce from coagulating and then take it off the stove when the sauce changes into a yellowish color and becomes fragrant.
  2. Boil the green beans and cabbage after chopping them (beans in about 4 cm long pieces, cabbage double dice size).
  3. Blanche the bean sprouts.
  4. Cut the lontong (steamed rice), fried tofu, tempe and egg into chunks.


Serving up your Gado-Gado

Arrange lettuce leaves at the bottom of the plate and pile up the dice size lontong, fried tofu, tempe, vegetables, bean sprouts as well as emping and prawn crackers and finally top the gado-gado generously with the sauce.


The secret lies in the sauce. Finely grounded spices add depth; the fragrant daun salam tickles your nose and the chilies add some fire to the dish. Succeeding in preparing this sauce can possibly lead to owning a mansion, but in any case a very satisfied tummy!





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