Jamu - a traditional Indonesia detox beverage

Make Indonesian Jamu at home.jpg

Jamu is a traditional health beverage that Indonesians drink to fight off a cold, relieve menstrual pain, or to cure whatever ails you.  There are many recipes for jamu. To make this beautiful, pale green jamu, grind ginger and tamarind in a mortar and pestle or a blender.  Add the juice of 2 limes and a spoonful of honey. Simmer gently, but do not allow to boil.  Strain and drink hot or cold.

Gado-Gado Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce

Peanut dressing on Indonesian Gado-Gado salad

Gado-Gado salad can be found all over Indonesia.  Serve it for lunch or as a first course at a dinner party and let your family and friends choose from a variety of ingredients. It is a satisfying meal by itself when it includes the traditional fried tofu, boiled eggs, and mung bean sprouts to add protein to the fresh vegetables.  Typically the choice of vegetables will include boiled potatoes, parboiled green cabbage, and parboiled long beans or green beans, but feel free to add tomatoes or radishes or any other vegetables for color -- or to clean out the fridge!

Gado-Gado Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce

Serve this colorful salad for lunch or as a first course at a dinner party and let your family and friends choose from a variety of ingredients.

Prep time:

Cook time:

Makes: Serves 8

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Ingredients for the peanut sauce:
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 red chili pepper, if desired

Ingredients for the salad:
  • 2 lbs of firm tofu, or a combination of tofu and tempeh, if you prefer
  • sesame oil for frying tofu
  • 8 hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
  • 2 cups of mung bean sprouts
  • 2 lbs of potatoes, peeled or not, as you prefer
  • 1 Chinese cabbage or green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 lb long beans or green beans
  • 1 lb of fresh Kang kong (Chinese water spinach) or baby spinach
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernals
  • other vegetables for color or variety

Instructions for peanut sauce:
  1. Use a mortar and pestle or a blender to grind peanuts, garlic, tamarind, and chili together.
  2. Transfer the paste to a pan and blend in the coconut milk, cooking gently over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  4. Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice.
  5. Allow the peanut sauce to cool.
  6. Instructions for salad:
  1. Boil the potatoes and then cut into generous bite-sized chucks or wedges and allow to cool.
  2. Cut the tofu into 32 pieces and fry in sesame oil, turning frequently until all sides are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain and cool.
  3. Quickly blanch or steam the mung beans. They should be slightly soft, but not soggy. Drail well.
  4. Quickly blanch or steam the cabbage wedges. Allow the cabbage to retain some crispiness. Drain well.
  5. Quickly blanch or steam long beans until vivid green. Run under cold water to stop the cooking and retain the color. Drain well.
  6. Prepare aby additional vegetables you want to add and arrange for guests to help themselves to salad ingredients and peanut dressing.