Gado – Gado, Tasty and Healthy
Yes, if you are a person who prefer to take vegetables rather than meat, Gado – Gado is a perfect dish either for day or night. The phrase Gado – Gado (in Bahasa, especially Betawi language) means “ Mixed Things ”. This name refers to the appearance of the dish which consists of various vegetables and peanut sauce as dressing. The vegetables were boiled first before mixed along with other ingredients and peanut sauce will be added before Gado – Gado is ready to be served. As topping, there are prawn crackers, emping (crackers which made from Gnetum Gnemon fruit) and some styles also add sliced fried onion.
This dish is easy to be found while exploring major cities in Indonesia. Restaurant, Street Food Stall and even Gado – Gado cart sells this food every day. Mostly, Gado – Gado served at day but there are also specific places such as Hotel or Restaurant which sold this menu at night. It is a tasty dish and surely it is also healthy so Gado – Gado is recommended for anyone who wants to take easy diet.
The Composition of Gado – Gado
Well, actually there is no exact composition of Gado – Gado and you can find various styles of Gado- Gado dish along with your journey in Indonesia. In Jakarta, Gado – Gado composition dominated with sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, bitter melon, jack fruit and corn. For additional there are also tofu, tempe sliced boiled egg, sliced boiled potatoes and sliced cucumber or lettuce.
In West Java and Central Java province, Gado – Gado is called Lotek. Although the composition is similar to Jakarta’s style, Lotek slightly more watered and this is the main difference between Lotek and Gado – Gado. Both of the dishes dressed with peanut sauce and can be served along with Rice or Lontong (Rice which processed into tube form, wrapped with banana leaf and sliced before serving).
Good point for spicy fans, the spiciness of Gado – Gado dish can be customized. Just say the amount of chili as you wish before the dish prepared. Yes, if you say 1 (chili) then I am sure you will be ok but if you say 5 or more then you should prepare a gallon of water to neutralize yourself. Sometimes I play tricky Gado – Gado dish with my friends, I told it was 2 but actually it is 5, upps.
Home-made Gado – Gado
Today, many families in Indonesia served Gado – Gado as main dish for family reunion or other gathering activities. To prepare the dish, we can visit convenience store or grocery and buy the peanut dried blocks. Simply add hot water to melt down the peanut dried block (as the peanut sauce) and don’t forget to boil up the vegetables first. We can create the original Gado – Gado dish or combine the original ingredients with anything that we like. Some people add “new” ingredients such as sliced chicken, prawn and meat to enrich the taste of Gado – Gado but surely this composition makes the price of Gado – Gado dish is higher than the original one.
Common price for Gado – Gado dish is around IDR 8000 – 15000 (if you buy it at Gado – Gado cart or Street Food Stall) and it could reach around IDR 30000 – 50000 (if you buy it at Restaurant or Hotel). If you choose home-made Gado – Gado, it is the cheapest one and you can explore your creativity for the composition. So, whenever you came to Indonesia please feel free to try either 1 or 5 level of Gado – Gado spiciness and you will know why most people here only choose 2.
By Amar Pujo Wicaksono
(Contributor at visitingjava.com)