The last couple of days have been really sunny. Whilst the mornings are still cold and a little frosty the sun soon burns off the frost and it feels like Spring is here. I managed to hang my washing outside yesterday and it dried, something I have not been able to do for a while. I even managed to get into my garden and start clearing it. We started with the patio in the back garden. It was covered with weeds and the muck and dirt of the winter. I weeded it and my husband and son gave it a good brush. It now looks much better and I am looking forward to warm Summer days when we can sit out on it. We even managed to mow the lawn, which had been looking bedraggled and soggy for quite a while. There is something about sunshine that makes you want to eat lighter meals. Salad is the ideal choice for a sunny day. It seemed like a great chance to try making an Indonesian salad – Gado-Gado.
You may have noticed I have been trying out a few Indonesian dishes recently. I was inspired by Kitchen Trotter, who sent me their Indonesian box which contains four recipes as well as all the spices and exotic ingredients you need to make them. It has been a fun culinary adventure. I started by making Ayam Areh which is a rather delicious but odd looking chicken dish. I then tried making some green pancakes, Kue Dadar Gulung. These have a coconut filling and the green pancakes would be ideal for St Patrick’s Day. Gado-Gado seemed the ideal choice for this warm day as well as being quick and easy to make. There is nothing worse on a hot day that having to spend ages in a hot kitchen.
Gado-Gado is a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, cooked potato and boiled eggs. What makes it different is the sauce. The sauce is made from Gado-Gado mix which is a mix of peanuts with sugar, mixed herbs and spices. It is mixed with Kecap Manis or Bango which is a sweet thick soya sauce and an Indonesian cuisine staple. It is often found in restaurants instead of salt and pepper. The result of mixing these ingredients plus some water is a brown sauce which has an amazing taste. It is sweet with a hint of fire behind with and has a lovely crunch. It goes perfectly with the vegetables in the salad. You want to drench them in the sauce and eat more. I think I may have discovered a new favourite salad dressing.
Not only was I impressed by the dressing but my son loved it as well. He ate all the salad and demanded more, proclaiming the sauce to be gorgeous. I think I will be on the hunt for both these ingredients in my local stores when I run out or working out a way to make it myself.
Indonesian Salad: Gado-Gado Recipe
- For the dressing
- 80 g Gado-gado mix
- 2 tbsp Kecap Manis
- 2 Combava leaves
- 80 ml water
- 2 bay leaves
- For the salad
- Romaine lettuce
- 4 small potatoes
- 4 to matoes
- 4 raddishes
- 4 eggs
- ½ cucumber
- To make the sauce add the water to a saucepan with the combava and bay leaves. Bring to the boil
- Add the gado-gado mix and stir until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Kecap Manis
- To make the salad
- Peel the potatoes and boil until tender.
- Boil the eggs for nine minutes
- Peel the eggs and cut into quarters.
- Cut the raddishes and tomatoes into quarters and thinly slice the cucumber.
- Shred the lettuce.
- Dice the potatoes.
- Mix all the ingredients in a salad bowl and pour the gado-gado dressing over the top
I was sent the Kitchen Trotter box for the purposes of review but was not obliged to say anything nice. My opinions are my own.