A good friend of mine who is an adventurous traveler and cook showed me how to make this simple Indonesian peanut dressing (gado gado) for rice and vegetables. I’d drop by her house, perch on a barstool and watch (with amazement) as she concocted this truly flavorful dish right before my eyes.
It occurred to me at one point that this peanut dressing would be the perfect foil for Vietnamese fresh spring rolls. Keep some of the basics on hand and you’re ready to entertain at a moment’s notice.
Note: the peanut dressing can be found at most Asian food stores – you won’t find it at Safeway (unless someone there is reading this here!) It’s a big timesaver because it contains the herbs and spices which will make a big difference in the final taste of your sauce in one “block” of ingredients.
• Package of peanut dressing (enak eco) or gado-gado
• ½ cup of boiling water
• ¼ cup of coconut milk (or to taste – more if you want the sauce to be creamy)
• 1/8 cup tamarind soup base (adds a sour flavor)
• 3 t. lime juice
• Sambal olek (to taste – more if you like it spicy)
Take the package of peanut dressing, cut into cubes. Add the boiling water, let sit until the cubes begin to soften. Stir until smooth.
Add the coconut milk, tamarind, lime juice and sambal olek. Adjust seasonings to taste, serve with Vietnamese fresh spring rolls.
Recipe courtesy of J. P.