The Veggie Project: Gado Gado

Although I've lived in Norway for more than half my life now, some parts of me are still very American. Take my love of peanut butter, for example. This week's vegetarian dish is somewhat exotic. Gado gado is an Indonesian salad with peanut sauce - and possibly one of my favorite dishes.

One of the great things about gado gado is how easily it can be varied. You don't have to have a lot of specific ingredients, and you can really just use whatever vegetables you have lying around. It can also be served hot or cold, whatever's easiest. So here goes:

Gado gado
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's immortal Moosewood Cookbook - seriously, get one now

Base: Cooked rice (in the version pictured I use a wild and brown rice mix) or noodles. Cook enough for the number of people you want to feed, so about 1-1.5 dl of dry rice per person.

Brown and wild rice mix for gado gado


  • An assortment of steamed or sautéed vegetables. In the version pictured, I used green beans, carrots, cabbage and onions. I steamed everything but the cabbage, which I sautéed in oil. Broccoli, zucchini and spinach are all good.
  • Boiled eggs, peeled and chopped. Make about 1/2-1 egg per person.
  • Extra firm tofu, diced and sautéed in neutral oil with some salt, pepper and chilli.
Sautéed, spiced tofu
Peanut sauce:

Makes enough for about four portions of gado gado
  • 2 dl of peanut butter (both chunky and smooth work fine, I like to get organic peanut butter without sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon of each fresh garlic and ginger, or half the amount if using dried.
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (less if there's sugar in the peanut butter you're using)
  • 2-3 dl of hot water, depending on how thick you like the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar (white wine vinegar also works)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Crushed red pepper, a pinch or more if you like it spicy
  1. Blend all the ingredients except the water in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Add water and continue mixing until desired consistency is reached. Should be around the consistency of a smoothie or slightly thinner.
Putting it all together:
  1. Put rice or noodles on a plate.
  2. Pile with veggies, tofu and eggs.
Brown rice with veggies, tofu and eggs...
3. Drizzle with peanut sauce, and enjoy!
AND peanut sauce!
- The Wild Bazilchuk