December 26th: in many homes, the children will play with the gifts found the day before under the tree while adults will finish New Year’s Eve leftovers.
Like every year, for many people, December 26th will be the day after Christmas.
But December 26th is also the date of the terrible tsunami that ravaged several coasts of the Indian Ocean. This year, the commemoration will be even more symbolic since it will mark the tenth anniversary of a tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people.
The question of whether or not we should commemorate the tragedy sparked heated discussions among us.
At first, it seemed insensitive or downright inappropriate to deal with such a tragedy in the context of a cooking blog. How to go from writing about such a disaster to the recipe of a dish typical of this region of the world without flirting with futility?
What finally convinced us to choose this theme is that the fidelity of our editorial policy is the most authentic and most sincere tribute to these populations who suffered so much – some of which are still suffering the effects of the tragedy.
To transmit and perpetuate their traditional recipes is a way to promote and honor the culture of these countries.
This week, we are therefore featuring Indonesia. Once again! Indonesian cuisine is actually rich and varied and it offers plenty of choices, both savory and sweet.
There is not one restaurant or hotel in Indonesia that doesn’t offer this vegetarian salad sometimes garnished with tofu like here, other times with hard-boiled eggs or even with tempeh, a fermented soy specialty.
What is particularly interesting about this recipe is not so much the vegetables that compose it, which can vary with the seasons, but the peanut sauce that accompanies this salad that is so characteristic of Indonesian cuisine.
There are several versions of this sauce with ingredients and proportions that can be vary widely. However, the flavor that is always predominant is the one of peanut.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to how to taste gado gado. Some people will say that the sauce accompanying the gado gado should be served warm. Others would say that it must be consumed very cold.
Just try and decide which one is right for you. I personally still haven’t made up my mind! I will therefore continue to prepare gado gado in the coming weeks just to finish this comparative study of the utmost importance. Indeed!
Recipe of Gado Gado
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (4 people)
- 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
1/2 lb bean sprouts
1/2 lb white cabbage, shredded
4 small cucumbers or 1 large
1 package firm tofu
For the sauce
- 2 cups peanuts, unsalted with skin
1 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and finely cut
2 macadamia nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 hot pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 tomato, diced
10 tablespoons kecap manis or sweet soy sauce
Juice of 1-1/2 lime
1 cup water
First, prepare the sauce by toasting the peanuts with skin in a hot pan with a little oil. Stir frequently and stop as soon as they get some color.
Mix the peanuts, garlic, macadamia nuts, galangal, chili and tomato with a pestle and mortar or in a blender to obtain a homogeneous paste.
Dilute by stirring the paste with the water on low heat in a pan. Add Kecap Manis sauce or sweet soy sauce, salt and drizzle with lemon juice.
Stir over low heat for about ten minutes. Cool.
Cook the green beans in salted boiling water for 7 minutes. Soak in a container with cold water and ice, then drain thoroughly.
Immerse the bean sprouts in salted boiling water less than a minute to blanch. Run them under cold water to stop the cooking and finally drain.
Do the same with the cabbage.
Wash and peel both cucumbers leaving alternate strips of skin. Cut ¼-inch slices.
Dice tofu. Sauté the tofu in a pan with hot vegetable oil to lightly brown on all sides.
Combine all the ingredients on plates and let each guest add the desired amount of sauce.