This composed platter is inspired by the Indonesian dish gado-gado. Translated literally as “mix-mix” that’s just what this dish is — a mélange of raw and cooked vegetables, arranged in separate mounds and served with a rich peanut-coconut dressing. Characteristic ingredients include cooked potatoes and green beans; mung bean sprouts, green cabbage and cauliflower. With tempeh (or sometimes tofu) as the usual protein on the platter, this is meant to be a one-dish meal, and not the kind of salad that’s served on the side. Though entirely optional, plain cooked rice is often served with gado-gado. If you do so, an aromatic brown Basmati is very nice.
Indonesian-Style Mixed Vegetable Platter with Peanut Sauce
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari 8-ounce package tempeh any variety
- 2/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter at room temperature 3/4 cup light coconut milk 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, or to taste 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce, plus more for serving 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar (coconut sugar is good in this) Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime (2 to 4 tablespoons), to taste
- 2 medium red-skinned or golden potatoes
- 4 ounces slender green beans trimmed (use whole organic green beans when fresh are unavailable)
- 2 heaping cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
- 3 plum Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half circles
- 1/2 medium cucumber cut into 1/4-inch-thick half circles
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts or thinly sliced cabbage
- Heat the oil and soy sauce in a wide skillet. Add the tofu or tempeh (if using both, double the amount of oil and soy sauce; you can cook them together or separately, as you prefer). Cook over medium-high heat until golden and crisp on most sides. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until completely combined.
- Scrub the potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place them in a deep skillet with just enough water to keep the bottom of the pan moist. Steam over medium heat, covered, until they’re just tender, about 8 minutes, then transfer to a colander. Rinse the potatoes chunks with cool water until they stop steaming, then arrange in a mound on a large serving platter.
- In the same pan, arrange the green beans and cauliflower side by side without mixing them together. Add a bit more water to pan to keep the bottom moist, cover, and steam over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, just until both are tender-crisp. Remove from the heat, then scoop out each vegetable separately, rinse with cool water in the colander, drain well, and arrange in separate mounds on the platter.
- Arrange the tempeh on the platter along with mounds of tomato, cucumber, and bean sprouts.
- To serve, let everyone scoop the various components onto individual plates, then pass around the dressing for everyone to use as desired. Pass around additional sriracha or hot sauce for those who’d like more heat.
- Here are more main-dish salads.