Quick and Easy Salad Favorites
Mixed Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce
Recipe from Stephen Ceideburg
- 1 pkg firm (Chinese-style) tofu
- 1 tsp kecap manis
- oil, for deep frying
- 6 cups vegetables (a variety of the following): cabbage, in 1-inch squares; bean sprouts; carrots, sliced or julienned; green beans, in 2-inch pieces; potatoes or sweet potatoes in large dice; sliced cucumbers; watercress sprigs; tomato wedges
- Hard-cooked eggs
- Fried Onion Flakes [I fry dehydrated onion flakes in a little oil till they're golden brown with excellent results. S.C.]
- Gado-Gado Sauce:
- 1 tblsp minced garlic
- 2 tblsp minced shallot
- 1 tblsp minced fresh galangal or 1 teaspoon ground
- 1 tsp dried shrimp paste
- 1/2 tsp ground dried chile or 1/4 teaspoon sambal ulek
- 1 cup oil
- 1/2 cup raw peanuts
- 1 tsp brown or palm sugar
- 1 cup thin coconut milk [The thin stuff from the bottom of a can of coconut milk. S.C.]
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lime, to taste
To prepare Gado-Gado Sauce:
- Remove tofu from package and drain.
- Place on a plate lined with cloth or paper towels, top with another layer of towel and an inverted plate, and place a weight of a pound or more on top. Let stand 30 minutes, unwrap, and discard liquid.
- Cut tofu into bite-sized squares or triangles and sprinkle with kecap manis.
- Fry in 350°F oil until golden brown and puffy; transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Reserve oil to cook peanuts.
- One at a time, blanch vegetables in lightly salted water, rinsing them in cold water to stop cooking as soon as they reach the desired degree of doneness. Cabbage and bean sprouts require only a few seconds; carrots, green beans, and potatoes may take several minutes depending on size and tenderness. Do not blanch cucumbers, watercress, and tomatoes. use them raw.
- Place Gado-Gado Sauce in a small bowl in the center of a large platter. Arrange vegetables on platter around sauce. Garnish with wedges or slices of hard-cooked egg and fried onion flakes. To serve, spoon some sauce onto each plate and dip vegetables into sauce.
Serves 4 to 6 with other dishes.
- To prepare sauce in a mortar: Pound garlic, shallot, galangal, shrimp paste, and chile to a paste.
- To prepare sauce in a blender: Chop together in a 1-cup jar.
- In a wok or deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until a peanut sizzles on contact.
- Fry peanuts until lightly browned; transfer to paper towels to drain.
- When peanuts have cooled, grind in a mortar or food processor to a coarse, grainy paste, adding a little oil if necessary to facilitate blending. (May be made up to a week ahead and stored covered in refrigerator.)
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from pan and reserve for another use.
- Return pan to medium-low heat and add pounded mixture.
- Cook until quite fragrant, but do not burn.
- Add peanuts, sugar, and coconut milk and bring to a boil, stirring.
- Simmer until thick and season to taste with salt and lime juice.
- Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
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