Well Being

Cooking School: How To Make Gado-Gado, A Main-Dish Indonesian Salad In Spicy Peanut Sauce

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Gado Gado

Gado-Gado is a popular Indonesian salad composed of both raw and cooked vegetables in a spicy peanut sauce. Try it as a side at summer potlucks or a main-dish meal at home.

The roster of vegetables used in gado-gado varies, but it usually includes some mix of bean sprouts, cabbage, corn, cucumber, jack fruit, lettuce, melon, potatoes, tofu, tempeh and boiled eggs. The following gado-gado recipe comes from Nut Butter Universe, the latest from vegan chef and cookbook author Robin Robertson.

“The flavor improves with time, so plan on making this crunchy salad the day before you need it,” Robertson advices.

Gado-Gado Recipe
(serves 6)


• 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil or 1/4 cup water
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 1 large clove garlic, chopped
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
• 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon natural sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
• 1 cup small cauliflower florets
• 2 carrots, shredded
• 2 cups shredded cabbage
• 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/3 cup roasted peanuts


1. Heat the oil or water in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter, tamari, lemon juice, sugar, cayenne, and coconut milk. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring to blend.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and puree until smooth, adding water or more coconut milk to thin, if needed.

3. Steam the green beans and cauliflower just until ten- der and place them in a large bowl. Add the carrots and cabbage. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle the bean sprouts and peanuts on top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.