Gado-gado (Cooked mixed vegetables with peanut sauce)

Gado Gado

The best gado-gado, and I still remember it well, used to be sold at a warung in Yogyakarta, in a small alley not far from the main street, Malioboro. This was in 1960. For my fellow-students and me, it was the main meal of the day. At 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, after attending lectures in the decayed nobleman’s house that in those days was the Faculty of Arts and Letters, we would set off on our bicycles to return to our lodgings on the other side of town. The late lunch break at the warung gado-gado was the turning-point of the day, when we could gossip, relax, enjoy the passing street scene, and eat fresh crisp vegetables with a stinging hot peanut sauce, a gourmet dish for a few rupiah. This bumbu, or sauce, was made to our individual orders while we watched. We each chose our vegetables, and the whole gado-gado was served with lontong, hard-boiled eggs, fried tempeh and tofu, and krupuk or emping. We were not hungry again until 9 o’clock in the evening.
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