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Gatum Gatum to Gado Gado.

I'm not sure if there was ever a horse called Gado Gado, but there was once a Gatum Gatum, which won a Melbourne Cup*.

I was standing up to my ankles in wood shavings in my father's workshop (he was building a boat) in November 1963 when he stopped planing some timber to listen to Bert Bryant's call on 3UZ. It was one of the earliest Melbourne Cups I can recall.

Now it's a lifetime later and Winx is burning herself into the memories of a new generation of children. Alex rode her first proper horse (meaning not just going round in a circle on a Shetland pony at a fair) on the Mornington Peninsula recently, and probably imagined herself steering Winx to victory. She wants to be a vet or a jockey.


In possibly the weakest segue ever written in this blog, we now move on to today's recipe.

Gado Gado.

Chop five or six potatoes into quarters. Chop four carrots into batons. Boil them.

When half done, drop in four cubes of cabbage into the pot and, towards the end, two dozen green beans. (Slice the cabbage in half and cut square sections out of one half; use the offcuts for coleslaw.) The idea is to have the vegetables just right at the same time. The beans only need a minute or two.

Boil two eggs in another pot. I once was at a loss to know how to cook eggs and peel them without sections of the white breaking away; I later learned the fail-safe technique.

Then cut four ripe tomatoes into sections and an unpeeled Lebanese cucumber (or a peeled regular one) into sticks.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: warm half a jar of crunchy peanut butter, two tablespoons of sambal oelek, a chopped clove of garlic, a dash of sugar, two very generous squirts of soy, and the same of lime or lemon juice. Stir while combining over low heat or it will stick.

When it is heated through, transfer to dipping bowl.

Drain the vegetables. Peeled the soft-boiled eggs, slice them in half and arrange them with the vegetables on serving plates. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers artfully. Or just toss them on top.

Dip components into sauce. Alternatively (my preference), pour the sauce over the top of the vegetables and eggs on your plate.

This dish travels well and could be a good option for a Cup Day picnic.

*Time wasting tip: for office workers who enjoy spending hours on amazing websites instead of doing pointless work such as having endless work-in-progress meetings or making useless powerpoint presentations, I offer this website. I give you an ironclad guarantee that, if you are at all interested in horseracing or its history, you will not emerge from the pages of this site in under two hours. You will possibly spend all day on it. It's worth the journey.


  1. So glad to see this sauce recipe again. It does liven up a bowl of vegetables. I like to make the full recipe and keep in the fridge to warm up as needed.


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