Gado gado, literally translated as 'mix mix', is the go-to street food in Indonesia. It's simple to prepare, essentially being a big mixed salad with a rich peanut sauce served alongside, but it's flavoursome, spicy and hearty enough to fill you up for hours. In fact, gado gado is so ubiquitous in Indonesia that you can ask for it in pretty much any restaurant with the phrase "Gado gado satu, terimah kasih." or "One gado gado, thank you." Then again, if you don't fancy the trek, you could just make it at home, courtesy of Lonely Planet's new cookbook The World's Best Spicy Food.
For the salad:
· 75g bean sprouts
· 100g green beans, cut into 5cm lengths
· 200g cabbage, sliced thinly
· 250g tofu, fried till golden, quartered
· 2 eggs, boiled, quartered
· 1 medium cucumber, quartered lengthways then sliced into 3cm pieces
· 2 stalks Chinese celery, finely chopped
· 2 spring onions, finely chopped
· 20g krupuk (prawn crackers)
For the peanut sauce:
· 2 cloves garlic
· 10 bird’s-eye chillies
· 20g (1oz) gula melaka (palm sugar)
· ½ tsp salt
· 200g peanuts, roasted
· ½ tbsp shrimp paste
· 1 lime, juiced (or equivalent tamarind juice)
· ½ tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
· 1½ cups (375ml) water
For the sauce, grind the garlic, chillies, gula melaka, salt, peanuts and shrimp paste with a mortar and pestle until coarse (blitz in the food processor if you don’t have a mortar and pestle).
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the lime juice and kecap manis and mix well. Slowly add the water, stirring the mixture at the same time. The sauce should have a gluggy consistency and not be too watery.
Prepare your salad by blanching the bean sprouts and green beans until they are cooked but still have crunch. Combine all the salad ingredients in a big mixing bowl. Add the peanut sauce, stir through to coat and serve.
Serve your krupuk on the side to crumble over the salad just before eating.
The World’s Best Spicy Food (£14.99) is available in stores from 14 March 2014, and is also available from shop.lonelyplanet.com.