451-gadogadoProbably everybody knows this dish. A fresh gado-gado! You can prepare it with all kinds of vegetables.

But this dish is about the sauce! Beb’s sauce is delicious and easy. You make a gado-gado sauce with coconut milk. In an ordinary peanut sauce, coconut milk is not necessary but possible ;-).

Beb has different kinds of peanut sauces in a separate chapter. Some look quite interesting with Kaempferia galanga (kencur) powder or cumin (jinten) for example. Soon I’ll invite vegetarian friends over and we’re going to have a peanut sauce tasting ;-).

I make number 451 without tofu and tempeh. Because we came up with the idea to make gado-gado later in the day. I wasn’t able to get fresh tofu. But it’s a wonderful addition to gado-gado. You bet. I love it, but for next time.

I did not fry the emping and krupuk myself either. I got it at the supermarket. It’s fresh and really good here in Holland. I’ve made krupuk and emping a lot myself. There’s nothing like warm emping with salt. So you definitely have to try sometimes. 😉

Amount for 3 to 4 people
Prep and cooking time: 1,5 hours

Gado-gado #451 from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 363.


100 grams of cabbage (white, green, savoy cabbage or cauliflower)
100 grams of green beans
100 grams bean sprouts
1/2 cucumber
2 large boiled potatoes
3 lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons of chopped celery
1/4 block tofu
1/4 slice tempeh
1/4 block santen (creamed coconut)
1/2 jar of peanut butter
10 grams emping belindjoe
10 grams krupuk (prawn cracker)
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of vinegar


3 tablespoons chopped onions
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sambal trassi (chili sauce with prawn paste)
piece of tamarind (asem) the size of two walnuts
2 teaspoons of Javanese sugar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Clean the vegetables; cook cabbage and beans briefly. Rinse the bean sprouts with boiling hot water. Drain the vegetables.

Make a watery paste with the tamarind and 3 tablespoons of water and some salt; Cut the tempeh and tofu into slices and marinate them in this paste.

Fry the prawn crackers and the emping and fry half of the onions in the leftover oil. Rub the rest of the onions, garlic, chili, sugar, and salt together into a paste, sauté until the onions are yellow.

Bring water to the boil with the creamed coconut and the paste. Mix in the peanut butter and finally the tamarind water, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Fry the pieces of tofu and tempeh until golden brown.

Place the lettuce leaves on a plate, arrange the cooked vegetables and potatoes on top. Pour the peanut sauce over it and garnish with the fried pieces of tofu and tempeh, the emping and prawn crackers. Add sliced cucumber, unpeeled but with the seeds removed. Sprinkle with the fried onions and chopped celery.

The vegetables may vary, depending on the season (see recipe 450).

Instead of pouring the sauce over it, you can serve it separately. Decorate the dish the same way but without the sauce.


If you want to follow the recipe meticulously, it will take a while. Just keep it simple. You can use all different kinds of vegetables, like carrot, broccoli or cauliflower. It will be fantastic. Even with one kind of vegetable, some potatoes, and an egg, it’s already delicious.


I cook the cabbage, along with the beans in a large pan with the eggs on the bottom of the pan.

I blanch the vegetables (cook briefly and rinse with cold water). The beans and cabbage remain nice and crisp that way.

I boil the potatoes separately because they require more time.

I do not rinse the bean sprouts in hot water because I like them raw, but of course, you can prepare them any way you like.

Important to boil the vegetables and eggs with a pinch of salt.


The gado-gado sauce surprises me. I think it is difficult but it is not. I do not have Javanese sugar, so I grate some palm sugar through the spice mix. Very tasty.


Fry the paste and pour in hot water with a piece of coconut cream.


I bring the broth to the boil and add the peanut butter. It dissolves instantly. When I make my family recipe peanut sauce, I have to stir for quite a long time to get it right.

This sauce materializes in front of your eyes. Finish it with the tamarind water (asem), vinegar and soy sauce.

This sauce is a pretty tart and it needs to be. If it’s too sour to your taste, add some extra ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce).


The sauce will thicken as it cools down. So it is fine now.


My daughter has made these lovely cubes of rice with a special rice cube maker for sushi. Works well with gado-gado as a kind of tender lontong. Those blocks will disappear in the sauce quickly ;-).

Now everything is ready. I lay the table, serve some air es (ice water) and Selamat Makan!

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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1 Response

  1. Thank you, i love indisch food.

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