Recipe Excerpt: Gorgeous Gado-Gado from Jamie’s Comfort Food (+ Giveaway!)

This is a mega salad that has its roots in Sundanese cooking and has now become the typical street food of Jakarta in Indonesia. Gado-gado means medley or potpourri, which refers to all the different seasonal veggies and ingredients that are used, making it slightly different wherever you go and whatever the time of year. Tossed with the most incredible peanut dressing, which to be honest is more of a substantial sauce, and served with something crunchy on the side, such as prawn crackers, it’s a winning combination.



400g new potatoes
4 large eggs
400g firm silken tofu
Sesame oil
½ a Chinese cabbage
2 ripe tomatoes
1 handful of radishes
½ a cucumber
2 handfuls of beansprouts (ready to eat)
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
optional: prawn crackers
optional: 1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli

1 clove of garlic
50g palm sugar
120g crunchy peanut butter
1–2 fresh red chillies
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste



Start by prepping all your salad ingredients. Scrub the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for around 15 minutes, or until tender, then halve or slice up. Soft-boil the eggs for 6 minutes, or longer if you prefer them more cooked. Cut the tofu into 2½cm chunks and fry in a splash of sesame oil for around 15 minutes, or until golden, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Finely shred the cabbage if you want it raw or, if you’d rather cook it (which is traditional), cut it into 2cm slices, place in a colander and slowly pour a kettle of boiling water over the top. For me, this is the perfect amount of heat to soften the cabbage but means you keep much of the delicious nutrients in there – feel free to apply this to any other seasonal greens you can find too. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, quarter the radishes and slice the cucumber (I use my crinkle-cut knife – you should get one!). Season everything from a height with a little salt.

Next, put all the sauce ingredients into a blender, peeling the garlic and grating in the palm sugar (if needed), then blitz until smooth. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning, making sure the acidity of the lime sings through, so tweak with more, if needed.

Traditionally, you’d take a little bit of everything, put it into a bowl and pour the sauce over the top, which is a fine way to serve it. I like to do the reverse, because I feel that once you pour the sauce over you can’t see the care and attention that has gone into the preparation of the ingredients. So I spoon the sauce between four bowls, spread it up around the sides, then divide the ingredients around the bowls, taking a bit of pride in making them look nice. Pick over a few coriander leaves, add the prawn crackers and some finely sliced fresh chilli (if using), then show everyone what a celebration of food this is by getting them to toss together their very own portion.

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Head over to HarperCollinsCanada‘s Facebook page and enter to win 1 of 5 SIGNED copies of Jamie’s Comfort Food. Not on Facebook? You can enter here, too. 


Enjoy, readers!


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See my 50 Book Pledge profile here.

Recipes from Jamie’s Comfort Foods by Jamie Oliver ©2014. Photography © 2014 Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited. Published in Canada by HarperCollins Canada. All rights reserved.

Bookmarks: September 19

Aaaaand another week’s worth of bookmark-worthy literary news is here! Since there is just so much bookish news out there – especially this time of year – we’ve made you a handy post with all the fun info that you really want. This week, we’ve got some seriously exciting news, from a literary award worth $100,000 to a book challenge that might just be getting more popular than the ice bucket challenge.

Too busy to read them all now? We’ve got you covered – simply “bookmark” the posts and save them for later!

1. We always knew that the Savvy Readers were an impressive bunch, but this month was extra special for the 50 Book Pledge. Just in case you haven’t tried the 50 Book Pledge out yet, it’s a fun way to promise yourself to read this year! You can keep track of how many books you’ve read, see what your friends are reading, and you can even earn badges and win prizes as you go.


This month, we passed more than 100,000 books read using the pledge! Wow! Let’s see how many books we can get to this year – we’re already off to a great start. This week’s featured book pick is the beautiful Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s a really beautiful book and I’m absolutely loving it so far – a good one to add to your TBR pile this month! You can even read an exclusive excerpt here.

You can click here to learn more about the 50 Book Pledge.

2. The 2014 Giller Prize long list was announced this week! There are some seriously fun picks on the list this year. The Giller Prize also had a very special announcement – for the first time ever, they’ve upped their prize purse, and the winner will now receive a whopping $100,000!


Also, to celebrate having an amazing FOUR titles on the long list this year, HarperCollinsCanada is offering an ebook promotion on all previously Giller-nominated titles! Visit to download Giller recognized books for as little as $2.99. You can also download all four of this year’s nominees: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill, The Betrayers by David Bezmogis, American Innovations by Rivka Galchen, and Tell by Frances Itani.

You can read all about the prize and the special announcement here.

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An EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Mandel_station-elevenThis week’s 50 Book Pledge Featured read is… STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel!

5 reasons why we chose it:

1. The gorgeous, gorgeous cover.
2. It has Shakespeare, post-apocalyptic North America, a traveling theatre troupe, and cults. What more could you want in a novel??
3. The author is Canadian, and part of the book is set in Toronto!
4. Ann Patchett, Erin Morgenstern, Jessie Burton, and Emma Straub are all raving about it.
5. It is one of the most engaging, more enthralling, and most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t stop talking about it.


Curious about Station Eleven? Add it to your 50 Book Pledge shelf now, and scroll down to read an exclusive excerpt from the book.

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