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Gado Gado

From the book The New Moosewood Cookbook by

Culinate editor’s note: This recipe has been altered slightly from the original to fit into the Culinate format.

Note from Shoshanna Cohen, who discusses this recipe in her column about peanuts: “Gado gado can easily be adapted to your tastes. You can use whatever veggies you want. I omitted the tofu, used fish sauce for soy sauce in the dressing, and added salt to the toppings. Instead of Katzen’s yellow rice, I use a version of Betty Crocker’s Curry Rice recipe. The energetic bite of garlic, ginger, and chile from the toppings and sauce can be turned up or down; leave the chile flakes out of the sauce and use as a topping for full customization.”


An Indonesian extravaganza: Yellow rice on a bed of spinach, covered with vegetables, tofu, and hard-boiled eggs. A gingery peanut sauce gets drizzled over the top, and crunchy, flavorful “final toppings” add a delightful finishing touch. And it’s all quite easy, even for beginners. Have fun with this!


Gado gado

~ A bed of fresh spinach
~ Cooked yellow rice (see Note)
~ An assortment of vegetables, such as a small bunch of broccoli, cut into small spears and steamed; fresh green beans, lightly steamed; red and green cabbage, very finely shredded; thin slices of carrot, lightly steamed or raw; and mung-bean sprouts
~ Tofu and hard-boiled eggs (sliced or chopped) to go on the vegetables

Peanut sauce

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. (heaping) grated ginger
1 Tbsp. (heaping) minced garlic
3 Tbsp. brown sugar (or less if using sweetened peanut butter)
cups hot water
4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt (possibly more, if peanut butter is unsalted)
~ Crushed red pepper, to taste


3 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
2 Tbsp. sliced fresh ginger (very thin slices, done with your sharpest knife)
1 cup finely minced onion
12 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
~ Shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
~ Crushed red pepper (optional)
~ Slices of fruit: lemons, limes, oranges, apples, pineapple (optional)


  1. For the gado gado: A bed of fresh spinach goes on the bottom. Yellow rice goes on the spinach. An assortment of vegetables goes on the rice. Tofu and hard-boiled eggs (sliced or chopped) go on the vegetables.
  2. For the peanut sauce: Put everything in a blender and purée until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little extra water. Transfer to a serving bowl and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve at any temperature, drizzled over gado gado. (This makes about 2 cups sauce.)
  3. For the toppings: Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet. Add ginger, and sauté over medium heat for a minute or so, then transfer to a small bowl. Repeat with the onion and garlic, sautéing each separately in 1 tablespoon of oil for 8 to 10 minutes (onion) and about 20 seconds (garlic). Place each in a small bowl. Place some or all of these toppings on the table with the gado gado, so each person can liberally garnish his or her own portion.


To make yellow rice, cook 2 cups rice in 3 cups simmering water with ½ tsp. turmeric. Add a little extra water toward the end of the cooking, if needed.

Note from Shoshanna: Don’t try to do the sauce in a food processor instead of a blender. I did, and it leaked because it’s so soupy. If you have a mini food processor, do the garlic and ginger in that (otherwise, just chop the heck out of them by hand) and then combine with everything else in the blender.

Related article: Peanuts, beloved

This content is from the book The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.

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