Salads of the World: Gado Gado!

Gado Gado –nutritionally complete and very tasty salad

Next in our series of salads of the world is a famous salad dish from Indonesia, Gado Gado.  The word  gado gado means ‘eaten without rice’ which implies it is a complete meal.  It is no wonder as this dish is one of the most complete nutritionally providing a good balance of protein, fats and carbohydrate with plenty of fibre.  It is a very filling salad, perfect for work lunches and better as a main meal.

This recipe uses tofu, which for most of us in Australia is a foreign ingredient.  Tofu is an excellent food for children and adults, it’s low in fats and calories, good source of protein, high in calcium and is very versatile.  If you struggle to get calcium from dairy foods, tofu is an excellent alternative.  Tofu also contains phytoestrogens which mimic the action of oestrogen produced in the body.  For women experiencing menopause, eating tofu or other soy derived products may help relieve hot flushes symptoms.

To make gado gado, you can use a mixture of cooked and raw vegetables.  I used cooked cabbage, spinach, snake beans, cucumber, lettuce, bean sprouts and potato.  For protein source, I pan fried some firm tofu and boiled an egg.  The peanut sauce tops it all, providing essential fats, flavour and satiety to this humble meal.  You can prepare peanut sauce from scratch using dry roasted peanut or purchase ready made peanut or satay sauce from the supermarket.  Take care to not overdo the sauce as it is high in fats, about 2 tablespoon of peanut sauce is enough on a plateful of vegetables.

Give it a go and jazz up your salad repertoire to go beyond lettuce, tomato, and cucumber!


Cabbage – steamed

Spinach – steamed

Bean sprouts – steamed

Snake beans or green beans – steamed



Grape tomatoes

Potato – steamed

Firm tofu cut into matchbox size pieces– you can find this in any Asian grocery shops or Coles/Woolies in the fridge section.

1-2 boiled eggs

2 tablespoon peanut sauce – pre-prepared peanut or satay sauce


  1. Steam all vegetables except lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
  2. Spray a non-stick pan, lightly fry the tofu.
  3. Mix all vegetables, tofu and egg, top with peanut sauce. Enjoy!


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