As I look down the barrel of a long, cold winter in Melbourne, I find myself craving Asian comfort food reminiscent of holidays and warm weather. This gado gado ticks all the boxes – loads of veg, raw and steamed, spicy, creamy dressing and interesting bits and pieces like boiled eggs and crispy tofu. Feel free to add or subtract what works for you. Other good additions could be crispy fried shallots, poached chicken in place of the tofu, tempeh, fermented vegetables or even avocado or brown rice.
You can also serve this on one large platter as a family style salad rather than in individual bowls.
Gado Gado Bowls
1 tspn coconut oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
1 tbspn coconut sugar
1 tbspn kecap manis
2 heaped tbspn cashew butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)
1/2 cup light coconut milk (add more for a thinner dressing)
Salad – for 3 bowls
1/4 wombok, finely shredded
A large handful of grated carrot
A handful of green beans, lightly blanched
A handful of snow peas, lightly blanched
1 bunch broccolini, cut in half and lightly blanched
1/2 a cauliflower, cut into florets and lightly steamed
1/2 continental cucumber, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes (once water hits boiling point, set the timer for 7 minutes)
Tofu, sliced and sprinkled with sesame seeds, salt and chilli flakes then fried in coconut oil til crispy
For the dressing
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil and gently fry the shallot and chilli for 3-4 minutes or until shallot is translucent and starts to turn golden. Add the coconut sugar, kecap manis and cashew (or peanut butter) and mix to combine. Slowly add the coconut milk and stir until all combined. Add more coconut milk for a thinner dressing.
If you make the dressing prior to serving, you can also loosen it with some hot water.
For the bowls
Divide the ingredients among the bowls, starting with a base of wombok and carrot and placing the other ingredients in piles. Top with the tofu and egg and drizzle over dressing. Serve with extra dressing, and any leftover ingredients.