gerobak selling gado-gado (credits:

Gado-gado is a cooked salad dish with peanut dressing, and it is certainly one of Indonesia’s signature dishes. Everyone, including street vendors in little gerobaks (street food carts) to chain restaurants sell this delicious, rich and satisfying dish. The prices also vary from as little as 5,000 IDR (~0.4 USD) to 50,000 IDR (4 USD) or even more. As fun as the name sounds, making gado-gado is also fun – it takes a lot of preparations but the results are totally worth it!

Gado-gado traditionally uses loads of different kinds of blanched vegetables, but the ingredients are actually very flexible, depending on the vegetables available in your region. The peanut sauce dressing, however, is too crucial to be substituted.

The ingredients you need for making gafo-gado are:

Kangkung, or water spinach / morning glory (substitute: spinach)

Long beans


Bean sprouts




Fried tofu

Fried tempe

Boiled eggs

Shrimp crackers

Peanut sauce


Steps for making gado-gado:

  1. Cut tofu and tempe into small blocks and fry them to golden brown.
  2. Cut and clean your vegetables of your choice, and blanch them. Only blanch vegetables that are normally cooked (leave the cucumber and tomatoes raw). Look at my blanching technique here. Feel free to add or remove vegetables from the list.
  3. Mix everything with your peanut sauce (I will be posting a guide to making peanut sauce soon). Do not drench everything in the sauce because it is generally very strong and over-powering. Coat every bit of ingredient lightly like regular salad.
  4. Top with a boiled egg and shrimp crackers.

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