Indonesian white bean Gado Gado is one of my all-time favourite salads. A flavoursome bowl of fresh, crisp vegetables and tofu, drizzled with a spicy and nutty peanut dressing. It’s traditionally made with potatoes and egg, but I save some cooking time by making it with white beans. These have a texture quite similar to potatoes, with the benefit of added protein and nutrients. I created a delicious imitation runny egg yolk to replace the eggs in my veganised Indonesian white bean Gado Gado.
Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients! Gado Gado is Indonesian for abundance, so it’s meant to have a variety of vegetables. You can use whatever vegetable or salad items you prefer or happen to have in the kitchen. Despite the list of ingredients, it’s still easy to put together, and you can have it ready in just 30 minutes.
Being mindful of those who don’t like chilli as much as I do; I made the spice level in this recipe mild, so feel free to add more if you love it extra hot like I do!
For a fun dish at your next gathering, arrange a large platter of all the salad components, and have people make up their own bowls. I love the feeling of sharing and interaction it creates with the food this way, and who doesn’t love a fun D.I.Y. dish?! The leftovers store well so you can make enviable lunches for the next day.
Indonesian White Bean Gado Gado
A flavoursome vegan salad of fresh crisp vegetables, white beans, and tofu, drizzled with a spicy and nutty peanut dressing and runny 'egg yolk'
- 400 g can canellini beans rinsed, drained, and seasoned with a pinch salt
- 100 g green beans
- 500 g firm tofu
- peanut oil for frying
- 1 cup red cabbage loosely packed, finely sliced
- ½ cucumber cut diagonally into ½ cm slices
- 100 g bean shoots
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp fried shallots
- 2 Tbsp beer nuts salted roasted peanuts
- 1 handful coriander leaves fresh
- 1 long red chilli finely sliced
- 1 fresh lime cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp peanut butter crunchy or smooth
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp tamari or substitute with soy sauce
- 1 long red chilli with seeds, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 1 Tbsp tamarind optional
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 1 fresh lime juiced
- 1 tsp ground ginger
Runny "yolk" (optional, but damn good)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tsp cold water
Steam the green beans until they're just tender with a little crispness (about 5 minutes), then immediately rinse under running cold water or place in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further. Trim the ends and slice the beans diagonally.
If you're using tamarind, add the hot water to a small bowl, then soak the tamarind in it to soften.
Drain the tofu and wrap in an absorbent paper towel. Place a plate or heavy book on top for a minimum of 5 minutes to draw out any excess moisture.
If you're making the runny yolk, whisk together all of the ingredients for it in a small bowl and set it aside.
Add all of the peanut sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. If you're making the recipe with tamarind, then add it and the hot water it's been soaking in; if you're not using tamarind, then add the hot water to the blender. Blend until combined into a smooth sauce. It should be in-between a sauce and a dressing consistency; in other words, it should be quite runny. Add more water if it's too thick.
Cut the tofu into 1 cm wide slices, and then cut each slice into 3 pieces. Place the tofu into a large bowl, add the salt, then toss gently to evenly season.
- Heat a large heavy-based skillet with peanut oil, and fry the tofu until golden (about 2 minutes each side). Place on an absorbent paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Assemble the Gado-Gado
Using large bowls or serving plates, add the ingredients in sections/bunches without tossing them together. Start with the tofu near the centre, then place the white beans beside, then the green beans, cucumber, red cabbage, and bean shoots. Drizzle the peanut sauce all over the salad, then garnish with fried shallots, coriander, beer nuts. Serve with a lime wedge.
If you made the runny "yolk", give yourself a pat on the back and then drizzle the glorious sauce in the centre of the dish. Dig in!
- The tamarind is optional; it adds a unique tartness and depth of flavour to the peanut sauce. You can find it at your local Asian grocer.
- Because the peanut sauce creates a dressing, it has a somewhat runny consistency. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add more peanut butter until you get the desired consistency.
- You can purchase fried shallots from your local Asian grocer.
Please read the Silvobeat nutritional facts disclaimer.