Gado Gado

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Favorites-Cover-252x300Gado GadoIn various languages and dialects in Indonesia, the words bumbu katchang refer to a spicy peanut sauce, while the words gado gado refer to a one-dish meal that incorporates the delicious sauce. For decades at Moosewood, we’ve served our very popular gado gado plate, steamed and raw vegetables on a bed of spinach topped with a spicy peanut sauce, and it’s pretty close to what you would find among some Indonesian variations of gado gado. There, the peanut sauce almost always includes dried shrimp paste, but we make a vegetarian version. And since we do like our vegetables, we probably use more than you would be served in Indonesia, but there would also usually be tempeh or tofu and maybe hard-boiled eggs. Here is a recipe for Baked Tofu

Yields about 4 cups of sauce; enough for 6 to 8 servings


Gado Gado
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Indonesian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
Gado Gado Peanut Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, minced, or ½ 1 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1½ tablespoons peeled and fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
To make the peanut sauce:
  1. Warm the oil in a covered saucepan on low heat.
  2. Add the onions, bay leaf, and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the hot peppers or cayenne, garlic, ginger, coriander, if using, and tamarind concentrate.
  4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the water, coconut milk, and vinegar, increase the heat to a low simmer, and cook, covered for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter and sugar until the sauce is smooth.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaf.
  9. Stir in the soy sauce, and add more to taste.
  10. While the sauce is cooking, prepare and steam vegetables you like until they are just tender.
  11. Serve Gado Gado on a large serving platter or on individual plates.
  12. Spread a bed of spinach leaves on the platter or plates.
  13. Arrange steamed and raw vegetables on top--they can be warm, room temperature, or cool.
  14. Add some of the extras.
  15. Serve the peanut sauce in a separate bowl or ladle some over the vegetables and pass more at the table.
Steamed Vegetables: broccoli spears, diagonally sliced carrots, strips of red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped green cabbage, potato wedges, and sugar snap peas, Raw fresh spinach leaves EXTRAS: Mung bean sprouts, baked tofu, and hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges, tomato wedges