Vegan Gado-Gado with Peanut Curry Sauce
When I first arrived in Bali, my hotel asked what kind of breakfast I would like in the morning. After explaining that I was vegan, I expected a few random pieces of fruit.
I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to a tray full of veggies, tofu and tempeh with a mysteriously delicious curry sauce that tasted like nothing like anything I’ve eaten before.
I eventually tracked down a similar dish and found out that it was called Gado-Gado. I’d totally fallen in love with the curry sauce, so I had to go about making my own version.
This dish is quite flexible so you can add/replace any other veggies you like. Sometimes, I'll throw in some mushrooms or broccoli, but feel free to add whatever else you fancy.
- 300g of firm tofu
- 300g of tempeh
- 1/3 zucchini
- 1/3 medium eggplant
- 6 small rice crackers
- 2 medium lettuce leaves
- 1/4 of a carrot
- Large handful of purple cabbage
- 1 large red chilli
- 3 small limes / 1 large lime
- Spring onion
- 1 cup of black rice (optional)
- 12 green beans
- Small handful of peanuts
- Small handful of bean sprouts
- 2 tsp yellow (Indonesian or Indian) curry powder
- 2 tsp Sambal chilli paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp coconut syrup (sub maple syrup)
- 4 tbsp fresh coconut milk
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
To Make the Curry Sauce
Add 3 generous tbsps of peanut butter to a mixing bowl and whisk with water to thin. You’re aiming for a pourable consistency so it shouldn’t be too thick but also not super-watery. Gradually add the water in small amounts as you whisk.
Add 2 tsp Sambal, the juice of 2 small limes (or ~2tbsp of lime juice), 4 tbsp coconut milk, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp coconut syrup and 2 tsp of yellow curry powder and mix together.
Taste and adjust as necessary. It should taste like curry with a firm kick of peanut. Add more soy sauce if the colour is too light, more Sambel for heat and more curry powder for flavour.
Once it’s tasting great, set aside.
Wrap tofu in a piece of kitchen roll and press under a heavy pan for 10 minutes.
If using frozen tempeh, place in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to defrost.
Prep the salad by filling a large lettuce leave with chopped purple cabbage, matchstick carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts and garnish with chopped spring onion, fresh chilli and sesame seeds.
Add the salad to the plate along with some rice crackers and half a small lime for dressing.
If using rice, cook according to package instructions.
Chop eggplant and zucchini into squares and cut the green beans into 1-inch sticks.
Heat 2 pans to a medium heat with a drizzle of sesame oil (sub olive oil).
Cut the tofu into planks and the tempeh into chunky rectangular blocks and add to one pan and cook. Add a dash of soy sauce after 2-3 minutes for flavour. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the Tofu and tempeh are golden on the outside.
Fry the eggplant, zucchini and green beans (and any other veg you are using) in the second pan. Use a very small amount of soy sauce for flavour. You want the veg to be firm, not soggy.
When veg and tofu/tempeh are almost cooked, add the curry sauce to a small pan over low heat and warm for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overdo it or the water will evaporate and the sauce will lose its consistency. Serve in a bowl or cup and garnish with a dash of coconut milk, peanuts, fresh chilli and finely chopped spring onion.
Serve everything up on a plate or chopping board. You can get really creative with your layouts here.
Finally, scoff everything down and use the curry as a dipping sauce for the tofu, tempeh and veggies!
The peanut curry sauce is incredibly versatile – you can use it for a full curry and cook your veggies in it, or pour it over a stir fry for a flavour explosion!