Its all about the sauce….

A good satay sauce is elusive. At least outside of Indonesia. There are plenty of quick fixes, ersatz offerings and peanut butter cheats. They may have their merits but have not earned mine. I want a Nigella moment, a spoon dunked into a jar of tanned coloured paste and licked clean. And this one, from Plenty, did beckon. Again and again.

Like a supporting actor who carries the movie and gives depth to the lead, this satay sauce makes the Gado Gado. (I am tickled pink by its name!) Salad is probably a very loose term for this substantial recipe. Without question the sauce, though not difficult, is involved. At the end what you get is a THAT fullness of flavour of a good satay sauce. Sweet, with heat but not too much, tart from the tamarind, aromatic from the citrusy lemongrass and pungent galangal, earthiness from the peanuts, all bound, tempered and brought together by the coconut milk to create a balanced, flavourful, finger licking pot of deliciousness. And it’s versatile enough for you to change the balance to suit your palate. I worked the recipe to the letter, but at the end added extra tamarind for that deep tang as well as more Sambal oelek for its heat. The quantity this yields is generous. So consider chicken marinated and barbecued or grilled, or tender strips of beef on skewers with this as a dipping sauce. Or look no further than potato chips. You know that’s going to be good.

This sauce could make anything ugly taste good. I used those ingredients I had to hand and omitted those I didn’t. You wouldn’t think a salad of boiled tatties (tinted gold in the turmeric water), green beans, beansprouts and eggs could really amount to something sensational. TheScotsman, long after cleaning his plate of his second helping, continued to pick, dunk and eat the few remaining stragglers on the platter. He does not usually do that. And lets face it, anything that can sexy up vegetables that does not involve cheese, is a good ‘un in my book.

So while you contemplate your newfound need to make this recipe, I shall be browsing ticket prices to Indonesia. There is a Gado Gado there with my name on it.

Recipe HERE


12 thoughts on “Its all about the sauce….

  1. jobakes

    OOOO! I’d say your best post yet MrsPP, really stunning description of this dish you already know I am preparing tonight for tomorrow’s dinner 😉 ANd my word, I’ve never seen egg yolks as yellow as these – stunning!

    1. Audie D'Souza

      No.. How do you get yellow eggs? Take it out of the hot water and dunk it in ice cold water immediately. The sulphur gas inside the egg does not have time to oxidise and turn the rims of the yolk grey 🙂 – JAD

      1. thePatternedPlate

        First of all HULLO UNCLE!!!!
        You do get different shades of yolks Uncle, but yes you are right about the grey ring around the eggs, which means its overcooked and that the sulphur has done its job!
        Some of the eggs I got in the Uk, you would not believe the colour! As deeply orange as a Goan sunset!

  2. Kate

    I’m currently living in Brunei (in the north of Borneo in case you’re not sure!) and am ashamed to say that I’ve never tried Gado-Gado… I must rectify that soon! I shall be making this recipe as I’m fortunate enough to lay my hands on all these ingredients here. Many thanks!


    1. thePatternedPlate

      Ha! It’s always the way though isn’t it Kate, that the last thing you try is what’s available right on your doorstep! There’s plenty of opportunities for catching up am sure and I hope you like it when you try it, whether bought or home made. How exciting to be living somewhere like Brunei. I’ve heard it’s beautiful with its vast unspoilt beaches and natural parks and reserves.

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  4. Pingback: Plenty for the taking… « The Patterned Plate

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