Gado Gado with a Canto Twist

I know I know.  Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad and if I call it with a canto twist, then should it be called Gado Gado?  I've been pondering on that for awhile.  Then my attention got drifted to other things and then I'm back again rambling about the legit name for this recipe.  This is what's happening in the over abundant informative world of today.  I feel like I'm exposed to so much yet I know so little.  I get so confused with my own reasonings in my own head.  Meh...    

Ok, let's focus and go back to my recipe here.  I've created this recipe based on a few crucial reasons - 1) I want to utilize accessible local fresh produces 2) I want a salad that could truly fill me up 3) I want something that reveals a hint of Cantonese taste and 4) I very much prefer all vegetarian.  So no, I didn't use shrimp paste to make the dressing.  Instead, I used the common yellow bean paste that Cantos use for cooking.  I don't have bean sprouts and peanuts at home so I skipped those, too.  But I bet they would make a huge difference to the taste of yumminess. :) 

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes


2-3 new potatoes, cut into chunks

1 bowl chopped chinese cabbage, thinly chopped

1/2 carrot, julienned

1 egg, boiled and halved

1 bunch string beans

1/2 block firm tofu, cut in cubes 

For the dressing: 

1/2 fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp yellow bean paste (chinese miso)

1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1-2 tsp cream

3-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions for the dressing: 

1) Preheat a small frying pan with oil on medium low heat, fry the chopped shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Avoid burning and reduce heat if needed.  

2) I used a mortar and pestle to grind the chili flakes and bean paste with the garlicky oil.  Add some fresh lemon juice and cream to the dressing.  

Instructions for the salad: 

1) Cook the potatoes, boil egg, string beans and tofu ALL separately.  

2) I boiled the potatoes in salted water.

3) I roasted the string beans after seasoning them with a little bit of garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  

4) I made the crispy tofu similarly except I coated the tofu with whisked egg first follow by mixed breadcrumbs with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Go here for detailed instructions.  

5) Mix all vegetables together with this awesome dressing.  Splash more fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil if you'd like.