Thursday, March 16, 2023

'Gado Gado': Spicy Indonesian Salad And Song

Gado-Gado The Dish


Originally from Indonesia or Betawi, it is a spicy Indonesian salad of raw and also slightly boiled, steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs. The boiled potatoes, fried tofu and tempeh, with rice wrapped in a banana leaf, called lontong, are served with a peanut sauce dressing. The sauce can either be poured over the entire dish or dipped according to the diners' wish.

Gado Gado The Song:

It is traditional or folk song that centers around the home and family, is common in Asia. Indonesia is no exception. Gado-gado is a very popular dish from the kitchen tables of the thousands of islands in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is the first song with a food theme that I learnt as a child of the 40s in Singapore.

The other popular one with a similar theme is Rujak Uleg (Indonesian Salad) with lyrics in Javanese. The ingredients for both include fresh and boiled vegetables like long beans, bean sprouts, sliced potatoes, tame-pay (fermented beans), fried tofu and prawn crackers. The gravy is pound fried groundnuts with chilli sauce.

Keroncong Instruments with Indonesian musicians.

Gado Gado The Lyrics [with English interpretation]

Gado-gadonya, Bung, dari Jakarta
(Gado gado brother, is from Jakarta)

Sangat digemari 
rakyat jelata…
(Loved by citizens in the country)

Satu bungkusnya, Bung, sa-tengah rupiah, Bang Achmad pulang, Bung sudah sedia…
(A packet costs half a rupiah, when husband Achmad comes home his gado2 is ready)
Gado-Gado Jakarta - Orkes Keroncong Rumput
Screen Shot from YouTube Video by: RUMPUT

Jika Mpoh minah, Bung 
malas ke dapur
(If wife Poh Minah is too lazy to go to the kitchen)

Semua ada: 
tahu goreng, kerupuk udang,
campur-campur… tahu goreng, kerupuk udang,
(Everything's in: fried tofu, fried prawn-crackers, a good mix,

Bila Mpok Minah, Bung malas belanja
(When wife Minah is too lazy to market)

Beli gado-gado dari Jakarta 
(She buys gado-gado, Jakarta styled).

Gado-Gado Jakarta - Orkes Keroncong Rumput
YouTube Video by: RUMPUT

Images: Google.
Interpretation: Andy.

[This article is an expanded re-post from 23rd July, 2011.]


Thimbuktu said...

Thanks Andy. "Gado Gado" is my favorite Indonesian ketupat with satay gravy! Didn't know the song of the heritage food (foodage) has been composed. Good food, good song...Cheers!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I don't know about the foodage song being composed but I do know that gado gado is my favourite salad too. Hot and spicy with lots of vegetables.

And the song is just as delicious.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

A new video has been attached to this posting. You can listen follow the lyrics provided as you listen to the song.

The Emnglish translation is in orange.

massu dcnee (youtube) said...

The song came about as a very typical 1950's song (or many other songs for that matter)written around or after WWII, they were very poetic love songs(as we know them well) as well as it could be a song about fruits(Papaya Mangga Pisang Djambu from Pasarminggu,) marketplace, train, beautiful cities, lakes (Telaga Sarangan, Ditepi Sungai Serayu), Beautiful river (Bengawan Solo), also about the sleek personification about city in a romantic way(LENGGANG SURABAYA)Es Lilin (about Ice Cream-Bandung)


Andy Young
The dish is deliciously spicy and tasty. The song is exceptionally descriptive and haunting... It's KERONCHONG.

Poh Huat Tng
Healthy as well

Andy Young
Poh Huat Tng thanks, yes it is. A delicious vegetarian meal. Appreciate your immediate response too.

Andy Young
Thanks to Kwandy and Hui Si for the early bird LIKES.


Lovely and wonderfully sounding song.
Love Keronchong music. I listened to Keronchong music from the day I was born because Keronchong was my late dad's favourite music.

Just to add there is a lontong song.


Just to add loved the sound of the double bass looking bass guitar.

My friend Joe Peters is helping to keep the Keronchong music, heritage and culture alive.

Here is the link on Keronchong:

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Michael Lee, thanks. Yes, the blog has your dad's story... and thanks for the Lontong song, lovely indeed.

Joe Peters loves the keroncong and the blog too. Thanks for the link.

And appreciate your expertise about the keroncong. Lovely indeed with its unique rhythm and folk lyrics. Cheers.


Wow, this article is great. Your wonderful posts and beautiful photos caught my attention.

I tried to add you, but failed. I hope to get to know you better and become friends. Please you can send me a friend request and I will accept it, I want to be your friend if you don’t mind. I think it is a very good thing to say hello to you.

Thank you

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Sophia Ang, hello and thank you.

I am glad you like the posts and photographs. Do check the BLOG for more stories on our local SINGAPORE music and its influence. I don't reply to 'friend requests' nor engage in personal mails but you can always chat on the postings that I write on. Anyone's welcome.

And thanks again!



Freda Hanum
First time heard this Gado Gado song... Nice keronchong music video of the group... Nice share Andy

Andy Young
Freda Hanum thanks. Yes, actually we have our own music culture that is so varied, that us Asians would have to take a long time to check them out. Let's start now... Cheers.

Andy Young
I must thank FB friends who took some trouble to LIKE this post.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Colin Colin
Winston Koh
Ericbronson Wong
Hiroshi Deguchi
Yen Chow
Kwandy Yao
Victor Lee
Chen Hui Si
Stephen Han
Rose Khoo
Freda Hanum
Philip Chew
Sophia Ang
Ann Rowena Lim
Moody Cash
Mark Tan
Lim Nance
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Michael Lee
Belinda Poh
Jalani Mohamed
Frankie Koh
Ukhti Aminah
Patrick Teng



Hi Andy,
Do you know where in SG can we get delicious gado gado?

BTW, I've never heard of the gado gado song before. Thanks for posting it on your blog. Watching the video made me suddenly crave for gado gado.

BTW wasn't there a malay version of the song, GOODY GOODY with the refrain GADO GADO insteady of GOODY GOODY?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Will write to you personally for the SG gado gado connection.

I've herd of the Western original one but not the other.
Can you send a link?


Winston Koh
Nice gado gado song beautiful my wife's favourite we used to have it at home. Thanks for sharing love Indonesians songs.

Andy Young
Winston Koh thanks. Next time let's have some.
I know a good place.

Salim Mohamed
Looks delicious
my favorite🤗

Andy Young
Salim Mohamed, thanks sir. Perhaps you can recommend some gado gado yang tulen. 🙂


Andrew YC Loh
Lovely dish, lovely song.

Andy Young
Andrew YC Loh hello, thank you.
Glad you like the dish, song and this posting.
Do visit it again.

Stephen Han
Lovely to eat but don’t gado gado after it

Andy Young
Ha, ha, ha! No I won't Stephen.
Fighting after eating makes one unhealthy.
Thanks for advice.

DAISY KOH said...

Koh Daisy
Haha don’t know about the song but love the dish…so Asian…so good for sharing as long as you don’t fight over it.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Andy Young
Koh Daisy yes, it's always one that's eaten on the dining table, a healthy salad that's local and delicious. The song? It's just as appetising. Try to listen to it. Thanks for the visit. 🙂

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Koh Daisy
ok I will when home

Andy Young
Koh Daisy I missed the joke. Yes, GADO GADO in Bahasa Indonesia also means 'to quarrel'.
So we shouldn't fight over this delicious meal.
Thanks Daisy.
Good one!

CHIT CHAT said...

Andy Young
I love many of the Indonesian songs I know. And they are just as beautiful as the Western ones if not better; if you understand and learn their lyrics and tempo. I think we're all closer now to Asia than many years ago... Cheers. [this statement is a repeat of the other post on Indian music.]

Hiroshi Deguchi
I miss Gado Gado.

Matt Jsl Tan
the one thing i miss most from the days of boyhood.. eating those great Indonesia dishes at the market.. gado-gado, laksa, nasi lemak,.. and oh ya. durian.

CHIT CHAT said...

Freda Hanum
It would be such a lovely rendezvous eating gado gado accompanied by this soothing song GADO GADO...For quite sometime had not eaten this salad dish Gado Gado..

Daisy Koh

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Andy Young
Thanks to all friends who LIKE this post. I thought a repeat memory FB won' attract any views.

Freda Hanum
Patrick Teng
Stephen Han
Hiroshi Deguchi
Koh Daisy
Somkid Lakhawat
James Kwok
Frankie Koh
Bethany Hou
James Bragg
Ser Kiong Tan
ธัญญ่า ศิลปะการ

And BETHANY HOU and the ธัญญ่า ศิลปะการ [I can't read this], thanks also. All names will be published on the blog under the Comment Page.