The Complete Asian Cookbook

Is a mostly crudite recipe a cop out? Maybe, but so is this book! Remember when these generic compilations of “global cuisine” where everywhere in the aughts? Apparently i have a couple in my collection. 

These kinds of books are so disappointing because they provide almost no cultural context – beyond an explanation of pantry ingredients, there are no recipe descriptions at all. So i had to do my own research. Gado-gado is a beloved dish across Indonesia that varies by region, but almost always has veg, potato, and egg, with a spicy peanut sauce. The term gado or the verb menggado means to eat something without rice. Gado-gado in Indonesian means “mix-mix” for the array of mixed vegetables. 

This platter is deceptively simple, since perfectly cooking potato wedges can be tricky. And I accidentally under, then over cooked my hard boiled eggs DOH. But the sauce was of course the star! Using natural pb made it a bit clumpy, so after cooking on the stove, i used an immersion blender for a smooth, creamy sauce. I dont put coconut cream in my pb sauce for Vietnamese food, so that was a nice twist in this version. This made for a substantial appetizer/side along with a delicious squash and pork soup 🇮🇩

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