Gado Gado

A delicious salad for Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free and Vegetarian diets.

Gado gado is a south-east Asian salad combining the spices of the region – coconut, tamarind, ginger and chilli. I have included only a small quantity of chilli: add more to your taste; or, to make the dish suitable for all tastes, serve with a bowl of chopped green chilli on the side.

The potato is cooked in water flavoured with turmeric, giving it an earthy flavour – a tasty way to cook potato for a variety of meals. I have replaced cabbage, the usually vegetable of gado gado, with spinach to make the salad suitable for those on the Fodmap diet.

This salad requires significant time to prepare, in particular making the peanut sauce. However, you can cook the various elements in advance, facilitating quick assembly immediately before serving.

For Low Calorie and Low Fat diets add the peanut sauce sparingly to the salad using only 1-2 tsp.

Diets for which Gado Gado is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, and Vegetarian.


Preparation: 20 mins | Cooking: 30 mins| Serves: 2 (with extra sauce)

1 tsp turmeric
4 potatoes, small
200 gm (1 cup) tofu*
2 eggs
120 gm (4 oz) green beans
150 gm (5 oz) bean sprouts
1/2 cucumber
150 gm (5 oz) spinach**
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
2 shallots (not F)***
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the Peanut Sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp harrisa****
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 shallots (not F)***
2 garlic cloves (not F)***
120 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
250 ml (1 cup) water
1 lime, juiced (2tbsp)
1 tsp salt
120 gm (4 oz) peanuts


BOIL water with turmeric and cook potatoes until tender.

PRESS the tofu to remove excess water. (Remove the tofu from its package and wipe it to remove surface moisture. Then wrap it in a couple of layers of paper towel and gently press to remove more liquid. Discard the paper and repeat with fresh paper. Place the block of wrapped tofu on a hard surface, eg chopping board or a plate; and on top of the tofu place a board with weights on it, eg a couple of unopened tin cans or a heavy cookbook. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes to squeeze out more liquid, leaving a firmer texture.)

For the Peanut Sauce

BLEND ginger, harrisa, shallots, garlic and oil to a paste.
HEAT the paste in pan for 5 minutes.
ADD coconut milk, sugar, tamarind paste, water, lime juice and salt.
COOK for five minutes.
GRIND the peanuts with 2 tbsp water to a coarse consistency.
ADD peanut paste to the coconut milk sauce.
COOK on a low temperature for 20 minutes (adding more water as required for a pouring consistency.)

For the Salad

HARD BOIL the eggs.
REMOVE the tofu from its weights and paper.
CUT the block of tofu into small squares.
FRY the tofu. (If using a non stick pan no oil will be required.)
STEAM the green beans.
CUBE or slice the cucumber.
SLICE the spinach into 2.5 cm (1 inch) strips.
FRY the shallots for topping (not F diet)

ASSEMBLE the salad: line plate or bowl with spinach; top with green beans, cucumber, sprouts; add sliced egg, tofu, and potato.
POUR on the peanut sauce and top with onion or sprinkle with some peanuts.


– A delicious meal.
– Peanut sauce can be refrigerated for 5 days or frozen.


* Substitute tofu for grilled halloumi cheese (not Dairy Free)
** Add diced tomato.
*** Not for Fodmap diet.
**** Substitute with other chilli sauce or fresh chilli.

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