Gado-gado, A Traditional Indonesian Dish
Gado-gado (Indonesian or Betawi), also known as lotek (Sundanese and Javanese), is an Indonesian salad of slightly boiled vegetables and hard-boiled eggs served with a peanut sauce dressing.
Gado-gado in Indonesian literary means “mix-mix” since it is made of rich mixture of vegetables such as potatoes, string beans, bean sprouts, spinach, chayote, bitter gourd, corn and cabbage, with tofu, tempeh and hard-boiled eggs, all mixed in peanut sauce dressing, sometimes also topped with krupuk and sprinkles of fried shallots. Gado-gado is different from lotek atah or karedok which uses raw vegetables. Another similar dish is the Javanese pecel.
Gado-gado is thought to have originally been a Sundanese dish. It is widely available from hawkers carts, stalls (warung) and restaurants and hotels in Indonesia; it is also served in Indonesian-style restaurants worldwide. Though it is customarily called a salad, the sauce is a larger component of gado-gado than is usual in Western-style salads; the vegetables should be well coated with it.
Formerly, gado-gado sauce was generally made to order, sometimes in front of the customers to suit their personal preference for the amount of chili pepper included. However, particularly in the West, gado-gado sauce is often prepared ahead of time and in bulk, Gado-gado sauce is also available in dried form, which simply needs to be rehydrated by adding hot water.
Gado-gado sauce is not to be confused with satay sauce, which is also a peanut sauce. In Indonesia gado-gado is commonly served mixed with chopped lontong or ketupat (glutinous rice cake), or with steamed rice served separately. It is nearly always served with krupuk (crackers), e.g. tapioca crackers or emping, Indonesian style fried crackers, which are made from melinjo. A common garnish is finely-chopped fried shallot.