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Gado-gado in Jakarta topped with emping cracker
|Alternative name(s)||Lotek (Sundanese and Javanese)|
|Place of origin||Indonesia|
|Region or state||Jakarta, West Java,|
|Serving temperature||room temperature|
|Main ingredient(s)||various vegetables in peanut sauce topped with krupuk|
|Variations||Karedok, a raw vegetable version of Gado-gado|
Gado-gado (in Indonesian or Betawi language), also known as Lotek (in Sundanese and Javanese) is an Betawi dish or Indonesian salad consisting of boiled vegetables served with a peanut sauce dressing. It is different from lotek atah or karedok for its fresh and raw version of the vegetable covered with peanut sauce. Another similar but not the same dish is Javanese pecel. It is thought to have originally been a Sundanese dish. It is widely served from hawkers carts, stalls (warung) as well as in restaurants and hotels both in Indonesia and worldwide.
Gado-gado is part of a wide range of Indonesian dressing and salad combinations, along with lotek, pecel and karedok. In many places, to retain authenticity in both the production and flavor, the peanut sauce is made in individual batches per order, in front of the customers to suit customers' personal preference on the degree of spiciness (the amount of chili pepper). However, since the dish has gained popularity (because of the increase of Asian-themed restaurants) Gado-gado sauce is now mostly made ahead of time and cooked in bulk, although this is probably more common in Western restaurants rather than in Indonesia. Compared to Western and Indonesian salads, Gado-gado has much more sauce in it. Instead of being used as a light dressing, the vegetables should be well coated in the sauce. Gado-gado sauce is not to be confused with satay sauce.
Many stores now offer Gado-Gado dressing in dried blocks to which simply require to add hot water, making it easier and cheaper to cook at home.
Vegetable salad 
The exact composition of the vegetable salad varies, but usually comprises a mixture of some of the following:
- blanched - shredded, chopped, or sliced green vegetables (such as cabbage, kang-kung), bean sprouts, young boiled jack fruit, string bean, bitter melon, and corn (outside of Indonesia, people improvise with whatever vegetables that are available).
- uncooked - sliced cucumber and lettuce
- fried tofu and tempeh(emping)
- sliced boiled potatoes
- peeled and sliced boiled eggs
The authentic gado-gado does not have carrot and tomatoes. Only the aforementioned vegetables are added to the dish.
Peanut sauce dressing 
What distinguishes gado-gado from a plain vegetable salad is the peanut sauce dressing, which is poured on top of the vegetable salad before serving. The composition of this peanut sauce varies as well. While traditionally homemade, there are now many commercial versions widely available these days. The common primary ingredients of the peanut sauce are as follows:
- ground fried peanuts (kidney beans may be substituted for a richer taste)
- coconut sugar/palm sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
- chillies (according to taste)
- lime juice
- Belacan (dried prawn paste)
- tamarind water
- water to dilute
Note: the above is for gado-gado.
Gado-gado is always served with krupuk, some kind of crackers, usually tapioca crackers, or also with emping, Indonesian style fried crackers, which are made from melinjo. In Indonesia, Gado-gado is usually served with rice or lontong (rice cake wrapped in banana leaf).
See also 
- No Money, No Honey: A study of street traders and prostitutes in Jakarta by Alison Murray. Oxford University Press, 1992. Glossary page xii