Hi everybody! I’m very excited to introduce you to another non-Korean recipe that I filmed with my reader Mariksa in Jakarta, Indonesia! Gado-gado! Mariska is showing us how to make the west Java style gado-gado because she was born and raised in West Java province. There are many regional variation for gado-gado, just like Korean kimchi. Mariska created her own cooking show channel on YouTube!

The other day, I followed the recipe and  made delicious gado-gado. I’m always happy to learn a new dish that I am not familiar with. Making gado-gado sauce is very easy if you use a food processor like I did. Following her recipe is my version.

The cameraman is Mariska’s cousin Reginald Evan. I hope Mariska keeps posting her authentic recipes on YouTube so that we can learn Indonesian home cooked food. I think all of you are just like me and very interested in homecooked recipes. Grandmothers and mothers make food for their family. You know why? Their cooking is based on true love! When you make food with love, the food should be delicious!


(for 2 servings)
1 thinly sliced medium sized fresh cucumber, 2 fried tempeh (soybean patties), 2 pieces of fried tofu, and a hard boiled egg cut into 4 pieces.

tempeh and fried tofu

For blanched vegetables:

1 cup of string beans cut into 4 cm long pieces, 1 cup of shredded cabbage, 1 cup of mung bean sprouts, 2 small chayotes cut into wedges (2 cups’ worth), 1 cup of water spinach (“ong choy”), 1 cup of Chinese spinach

Chinese spinach

water spinach (ong choy)

For the sauce:

ground roasted peanuts, bird’s eye chilis, dried shrimp paste (terasi), palm sugar, kosher salt, tamarind, and water

For garnish:

fried shallots, shrimp crackers, emping (gnetum gnemon chips called “Melinjo” in Indonesian)


1 medium sized steamed potato cut into bite size pieces


  1. Blanch and strain Chinese spinach, water spinach, string beans, mung bean sprouts, cabbage and slice 1 cucumber.

Make sauce using a mortar and pestle

cooking time: 20-30 minutes

  1. Grind these ingredients with a mortar and pestle until they’re smooth: 1 ts kosher salt, 2 ts dried shrimp paste, 3 red bird’s eye chilis, and ¼ cup’s worth of palm sugar.

  2. Add 1 cup of finely ground roasted peanuts (or 1 cup of peanut butter) and grind it all some more until it’s mixed well. If you use peanut butter instead of ground roasted peanuts, add less salt because there’s salt in the peanut butter.
  3. Mix 1 tbs (about 20 grams) of tamarind with ¼ cup of hot water in a small bowl. Add the juice to the sauce.
  4. Add ½ cup of water and mix it well.
  5. Transfer the vegetables to a serving plate and pour the sauce on top of it or mix all the vegetables with the sauce in the mortar before serving.
  6. Add a sliced hard-boiled egg on top and garnish with fried shallots, shrimp crackers and emping.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.

Or make sauce using a food processor

cooking time: 15-20 minutes

  1. Grind 1 cup of roasted peanuts, 1 ts kosher salt, 2 ts dried shrimp paste, 3 red bird’s eye chilis, and ¼ cup’s worth of palm sugar in a food processor until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, mix the blanched vegetables with the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate.
  3. Garnish with fried shallots, shrimp crackers, and emping.
  4. Serve with steamed rice.

Maangchi’s gado-gado

I used my food processor to make the sauce which was very easy and turned out great. For those of you who are not familiar with some of the ingredients used in the sauce, I’m posting some photos of the key ingredients below. You can find dried shrimp powder, tamarind, palm sugar, and fried shallots in Chinatown.

Enjoy the recipe!

I bought palm sugar, fried tofu, dried shrimp powder, fried shallots, tamarind paste, and prawn crackers

Fried shallots

tamarind paste

1 chunk of palm sugar (about ¼ cup). To use this, put it in a small pot, add ¼ cup water, and heat it up. Break it into small pieces with a wooden spoon until it’s well melted.
*tip: I learned this method from Tanya who taught us Thai papaya salad (som tam)

Frying krupuk (prawn crackers) in heated vegetable oil. This is very fun to make. You will be surprised how rapidly it grows.

I used skinned roasted peanuts

Gado-gado sauce

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  1. peppermintpatty Washington DC US joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! Love your videos so much. Recently had a banchan at a restaurant here in the DC suburbs that the waitress told me was chayote squash. Do you have a Korean recipe with this veggie? It is so tasty!

  2. NYONYO Chicago joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    There are three additional vegetables needed to make really authentic Jakarata gado-gado.

    1. Jackfruit
    2. Bitter melon
    3. Boiled corn

    Shrimp paste is a must. If we do not use shrimp paste, the aroma will be authentic.
    Looking at the video, she is up to Jakarta style gado-gado, not West Java gado-gado.
    In the Jakarta gado-gado, chinese spinach has never been part of the ingredients. You can skip that particular vegetable.

    Fried shallot and crackers are not optional. I’d rather not eat gado-gado without those two.

  3. Lotusgalz Indonesia joined 3/12 & has 3 comments

    whoa! look good! *drool* I like to add few drops of ” air jeruk limau= kaffir lime juice in my Gado-gado. (^_^)

  4. chef Benedict Manila, Philippines joined 11/11 & has 45 comments

    mariska and maangchi both of you did the best job, the gado gado authentic indonesian dish… i love that.. i hope to try it much! :D you remind me my exchange student friends from indonesia! :D

  5. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    Wow Mariska you are so comfortable on camera – you both make a great team on film! This dish looks really delicious – I am definitely going to try making it. My mother was taught some Indonesian cooking when I was a boy and I still remember the delicious peanut sauce flavor! I wonder how different it will be to your authentic one :)

  6. Ryan Germany joined 7/11 & has 14 comments

    Maangchi you are no doubt such a great cook, your gado-gado looks like just original. That was wonderful !!

    I have more tips for you guys, who have difficulties finding the ingredients in your area :
    – Tofu : You can use any tofu (even soft tofu, though it’ll be a little too soft) and then fry it yourself.
    – Vegetables : You can use any seasonal vegetables you want (broccoli, corn, anything, there are up to your taste)
    – Sauce : Shrimp paste is optional (it’s my first time hearing it actually). You can replace tamarind with vinegar, but the taste will be a little bit different, because beside sour, it also has this unique taste. Chili is a must for spicy lovers.
    – Garnish : Fried shallots or crackers is to balance the gado-gado, that’s why it is recommended but still optional.

    That’s all I guest, have fun in making gado-gado !!

    • MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments

      Thank you for your tips! :D

      You cannot skip the Tearsi/Shrimp Paste because it’s important ingredient for the sauce. it will be bring you a nice strong flavor. Shrimp Paste is one of key ingredients of Indonesian cuisines. Chinatown is the best location to find it. :D You can find further information about Shrimp Paste in Wikipedia. ;D~

      Tamarind already has a strong sour taste, if you mix it with vinegar it will be turn out very sour. Just pick one of them.

      Happy Cooking~! :)

    • liemstephanie germany joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

      Love the recipe :)
      I miss Indonesian’s food so much!!!
      want to eat rendang!!! please Mariska, make a blog bout indonesian’s food

      @Ryan : haste schon mal im asiatischen Laden gesucht? Du kannst ja auf jeden Falls Online kaufen, oder?

      • MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments

        I start to write my recipe in my tumblr. simply click my name, it direct link to my tumblr.

      • Ryan Germany joined 7/11 & has 14 comments

        Hi liemstephanie,
        (Ich antworte deine Frage lieber auf Englisch, so dass die andere auch verstehen können)
        do you mean the shrimp paste ?! I can’t really say for sure whether they sell it or not and as I said in my previous comment, that was my first time hearing that gado-gado is actually using shrimp paste. I actually grew up in the same town as Mariska, but never knew about the shrimp paste in gado-gado, never mind anyway, I’m actually also curious of the taste of this version.

    • Ryan Germany joined 7/11 & has 14 comments

      After seeing that new recipe (Endive mash and Dutch meatballs), I suddenly remembered that I was usually adding ‘kecap (or ketjap) manis’ (or literally translates ‘sweet soy sauce’) on the top of my gado-gado. Just another tips ! :)

      • MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments

        its your first time hearing it? wow… i always use this in my gado-gado even when i buy it it always contain shrimp paste. :)

        its too sweet for me because i already add the palm sugar on the sauce. :D so far i know kecap in english is sweet soya sauce, :s *confuse* which one is right?

  7. IowaWhiteDevil Near Cedar Rapids, IA USA joined 6/11 & has 10 comments

    Ah, Indonesian.. My second favorite cuisine. This looks absolutely fabulous, Maangchi. I will need to see if I can gather up all of the ingredients for this at the limited number of Asian markets I have available to me in Iowa. The only question I have is the Fried Tofu and tempeh is something I don’t remember seeing (but I will look) locally.. can either of these two ingredients be made from Tofu and or any sort of soybean if I cannot find it?

    Thanks for the tip on Mariska’s videos– I will look for them. I’m a big fan of Indonesian and as far as I know the closest Indonesian restaurant is about 150 miles from me in Madison, WI. That’s worse than 50 miles for Korean in Iowa City! :O) Thanks…

    • MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments

      I’m pretty sure you can find Fried tofu in China Town :D, but Tempeh its quite difficult to find there. Tempeh is made from fermented soybean that binds the soybean into a cake form. (– wikipedia). Tempeh also call “Soybean Patty”. If you cannot find it, just skip it. :D

      Happy Cooking~

    • jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

      Try hit the chinatown in downtown Chicago , there was this store called Golden Pacific , they sell tofu , fried tofu , shrimp powder and shrimp paste , raw peanuts , and tamarind , basically all the ingredients you need to make this yummy gado gado . I think it’ll be closer to Chicago than driving all the way to Madison :D Oh and yes they do sell tempe too .. but you will have to fry them yourself :) hope that helps !

    • n4rit4 Montclair, NJ joined 11/12 & has 10 comments

      You can easily find tempeh in your local whole foods or organic section of your regular supermarket near the tofurky and things like that kekekke

  8. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/11 & has 55 comments

    WOW!!!! ♥ ♥ Your sauce is looks so delicious!

    The shrimp powder there has different form than the Indonesia’s one but it’s taste similar. I used the same shrimp powder that you bought in Chinatown when i cooked some Indonesian food at my big brother’s home in Australia. It’s tastes almost same (still I prefer the Indonesia roasted shrimp paste/powder hehehehehe :P..) so don’t worry. :D

    I smile widely when read your comment about frying the krupuk. hehehe~ :)

    • lintilla Sydney, Australia joined 8/11 & has 4 comments

      Please make more videos or blogs, Mariska! I know I’d love to learn to cook more Indonesian food. :D

      My grandfather grew up in Indonesia, so I grew up eating gado-gado and krupuk and nasi goreng and satay and… well, lots of wonderful things! Gado-gado has always been one of my favorites, though. <3

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