Gado-Gado (Indonesian Vegetables with Peanut Sauce)

Gado-Gado Recipe from Moosewood RestaurantGado-Gado Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant
click above to enlarge images

Quick Facts:

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

Gado-Gado Peanut Sauce:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, minced, or 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled ginger root
1 tsp ground coriander seeds (optional)
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Vegetable Suggestions:
Broccoli spears
Diagonally sliced carrots
Strips of red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
Chopped green cabbage
Potato wedges
Sugar snap peas

Optional Extras:
Mung bean sprouts
Baked tofu
Hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges
Tomato wedges
Fresh spinach leaves

Recipe Description:

Recipe courtesy of David Hirsch, Moosewood Restaurant. This recipe will be featured in the following classes: "Pan-Asian Flavors from Moosewood" on Sunday, 12/15 at 2pm in Mt Pleasant and Tuesday, 12/17 at 6pm in Chapel Hill.

"In 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."
-David Hirsch

Directions:

Peanut Sauce:
1) Warm the oil in a covered saucepan on low heat, add the onions, bay leaf, and salt, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the hot peppers or cayenne, garlic, ginger, coriander, and tamarind, and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add the water, coconut milk, and vinegar, increase the heat to a low simmer and cook covered, for 3 minutes.
3) Stir in the peanut butter and sugar until the sauce is smooth, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, and add more to taste.
4) While the sauce is cooking, prepare and steam your choice of vegetables until they are just tender.
5) Serve gado-gado on a large serving platter or on individual plates. Spread a bed of spinach leaves on the platter or plates. Arrange steamed and raw vegetables on top - they can be warm, room temperature, or cool. Add some of the extras as desired. Serve the peanut sauce in a separate bowl or ladle some over the vegetables and pass more at the table.

Variations:
1) Serve the peanut sauce and steamed vegetables on rice instead of spinach.
2) Stuff pita bread with fresh spinach, baked tofu or chopped hard-boiled eggs, and tomatoes, and top with peanut sauce.
3) Serve the sauce as a dip for crisp-fried tempeh or chunks of ripe juicy pineapple.
4) Leftover sauce, which will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator, can be the inspiration for a number of other dishes. We often use it as the base for a West-African-style peanut soup or stew.
5) Add some canned crushed pineapple to the sauce and serve it on rice with fresh spinach and baked tofu.

Print Recipe