Recently, I visited Bali.
It was not a vacation, BUT it was non stop eating.
So…it felt a little bit like a vacation.
I was happy to be attending the Best Buddies Asia Pacific Forum so that I could learn more about how I can further inclusion here in Manila. What I didn’t know, was that I would also learn a little more about Indonesian food and how to make a simple salad here at home.
Truth is, Nino and Gia, and I have been traveling a lot the past couple of weeks so we have been trying to repeat the flavors and fun that we experienced here at home.
Nino and Gia have developed a new found love for Chicken Inasal. They have tried to explain to me the namit goodness that they experienced first had while staying in Bacolod, but I have resigned myself to enjoying the flavors here in Manila, because they say that nothing can compare to the rich, tangy, flavorful, tender, juicy chicken that they had during their visit down south…
I on the other hand, found a salad that is topped with a thick power packed peanut sauce that can be generously topped on each serving of veggie goodness that is usually presented in the same way I present my veggies for Kare Kare. I like to fan them out across the plate so that you can pick and choose only what you really enjoy…and then you also get to see the different colors as well.
So-this salad that I had on one of the days I was in Bali for the forum got me to thinking that I can make this for the fam bam at home…
When I asked my friend Lanny about the salad and how she would get her Gado Gado fix when she was living abroad in NY for 10 years, she said that sometimes, when she is lazy she would just buy the instant sauce and add water and serve. EUREKA! A food that I’m not totally familiar with comes in an instant form…so for today, I will feature this little packet that I picked up in the grocery store in Bali…and when this packet is all gone, I will try to make the sauce from scratch…which is usually what I do most of the time anyway. Here is Jamie Oliver’s explanation about Gado Gado: This is a mega salad that has its roots in Sundanese cooking and has now become the typical street food of Jakarta in Indonesia. Gado-gado means medley or potpourri, which refers to all the different seasonal veggies and ingredients that are used, making it slightly different wherever you go and whatever the time of year. Tossed with the most incredible peanut dressing, which to be honest is more of a substantial sauce, and served with something crunchy on the side, such as prawn crackers, it’s a winning combination. Here is our version of this hearty salad we came up with for our Halloween Pot Luck Gathering.
@ginger_aventajado ‘s take on #GadoGado inspired by @jamieoliver! Perfect match veggie dish that’s hearty and easy to prepare! A photo posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on
For the next time we make this salad, I think we can try making the sauce from scratch. Jamie Oliver’s recipe looked pretty easy to pull off, and since I have always tried to put recipes together to combine what is easy and readily available, I’m sure we could replicate this one without much difficulty!
This is a hearty salad that could not only serve as a side to a main dish of Asian influence, but it’s also so heavy that it could probably serve as a meal all by itself.