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Crunchy Vegetables and Peanut Sauce

This is our version of a gado gado – an Indonesian salad dish made up of lightly boiled and raw vegetables, topped with tofu or egg and then this incredibly delicious, moreish peanut sauce, which pulls the dish together. Great for gatherings, it’s interactive, incredibly tasty and good for you. And the bonus is sometimes there’ll be leftovers, so you will have the makings of lunch the next day, or another dinner. You can swap any of our suggested vegetables for ones you have in the fridge or what you fancy, that’s the beauty of it. We make like the Indonesians and top ours with a soft-boiled egg for an added protein hit.

Serves 4-6

360g brown rice
4–6 soft-boiled eggs, to serve
For the vegetables

1 small red cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
2 beetroots, grated
2 handfuls of green beans,
a handful of boiled potatoes, diced
a handful of chestnut mushrooms,
thinly sliced
½ cucumber, diced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
a bunch of coriander
a handful of peanuts, crushed
or roughly chopped
lime wedges, to serve

For the sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
a thumb-sized piece of ginger,
1 generous tbsp smooth
peanut butter
1 tbsp tamari
juice of 1 lime
2–4 tbsp hot water

Start by cooking the brown rice in boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse and transfer to a serving bowl.

While that is happening, prep your vegetables (and eggs, if using) as necessary and place in different serving bowls.

Then make the sauce. Pour the sesame oil into a small pan and fry the garlic, chilli and ginger over a medium heat. Once soft, scoop in the peanut butter then add the tamari and lime juice. Now start to trickle in the hot water and whisk until you have a sauce of a consistency you like (we like it like a salad dressing). Adjust the lime juice and tamari to your taste. Once you’re good, transfer the peanut sauce into a jug or a bowl with a spoon for serving.

Allow everyone to gather round and help themselves to vegetables, rice and to put their own toppings on, before pouring over the peanut sauce, mixing it all up and finishing with the spring onions, coriander, crushed peanuts and a squeeze of a lime wedge.

Recipe extracted from A Simple Table by Chi-San Wan and Natali Stajcic, published by Yellow Kite, £25
Photo credit: Emma Lee