Gado-Gado Recipe - Authentic Indonesian Vegetarian Dish


Gado-Gado Recipe - Authentic Indonesian Vegetarian Dish
Region / culture: Indonesia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet



Gado-gado is a traditional Indonesian salad dish that is made up of a variety of boiled vegetables, fried tofu, boiled eggs, and a delicious peanut sauce. This dish is not only flavorful but also packed with nutrients, making it a popular choice among both locals and tourists.


Gado-gado has been a staple dish in Indonesian cuisine for centuries. It is believed to have originated in Java, Indonesia, and has since spread to other parts of the country and even internationally. The dish is often served as a main course or as a side dish, and is commonly enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations.



The peanut sauce (for each serving)

Additional ingredients


  • The only utensils you need are cobek batu (Indonesian-style stone pestle) and something to mix the vegetables and the peanut sauce, and also to plate the ready-made gado-gado.

How to prepare

  1. Prepare all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Grind the chili pepper and garlic using the pestle.
  3. Add terasi, salt, coconut sugar, cashew nuts, and peanuts to the mortar and continue grinding.
  4. Gradually add water and tamarind water while continuously grinding until a thick sauce is formed (adjust the amount of tamarind water according to taste).
  5. Add the vegetables (you can also add half an egg, tofu, and tempe if desired) and mix them with the sauce.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a plate.
  7. Sprinkle some fried onions on top.
  8. Serve with emping and lontong (or rice).


  • You can customize gado-gado by adding your favorite vegetables such as cucumber, bean sprouts, or bell peppers. You can also substitute the peanut sauce with a different dressing like a spicy sambal or a tangy vinaigrette.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor of the peanut sauce, you can add a squeeze of lime juice or a dash of soy sauce. You can also adjust the spiciness of the sauce by adding more or less chili peppers. When boiling the vegetables, be sure not to overcook them to retain their crunchiness and nutrients.

Serving Suggestions

Gado-gado can be served as a main course or as a side dish alongside other Indonesian dishes like rendang or sate. It pairs well with steamed rice or lontong (compressed rice cake).

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for gado-gado is boiling the vegetables until they are tender but still crisp. Be sure to not overcook them to retain their nutrients and vibrant colors.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute them with cashews or almonds in the peanut sauce. You can also use almond butter or sunflower seed butter as a peanut-free alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the peanut sauce and boil the vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the gado-gado. This dish is best served fresh, so assemble it just before serving.

Presentation Ideas

To make gado-gado visually appealing, arrange the vegetables and toppings in an artful manner on a plate. Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Gado-gado pairs well with a refreshing drink like iced tea or a tropical fruit juice. You can also serve it with a side of krupuk (Indonesian shrimp crackers) for added crunch.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover gado-gado can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently warm the dish in a microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of gado-gado typically contains around 400-500 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used. It is a satisfying and nutritious meal that can be enjoyed as a main course.


Gado-gado is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the inclusion of vegetables, tofu, and rice. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy and are essential for overall health and well-being.


The peanut sauce in gado-gado is rich in healthy fats from peanuts and coconut milk. These fats are important for brain function, hormone production, and overall cell health.


Gado-gado is a good source of protein from tofu, eggs, and peanuts. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, as well as for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Vitamins and minerals

Gado-gado is packed with vitamins and minerals from the variety of vegetables included in the dish. Vegetables like spinach, long beans, and cabbage provide essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.


Gado-gado contains peanuts, shrimp paste, and soy products, which are common allergens. It is important to be mindful of any food allergies or sensitivities when preparing or consuming this dish.


Overall, gado-gado is a well-balanced and nutritious dish that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a flavorful and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


Gado-gado is a delicious and nutritious Indonesian salad dish that is perfect for a light and satisfying meal. With its flavorful peanut sauce and colorful array of vegetables, it is sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Enjoy this traditional Indonesian dish and savor the flavors of Indonesia in every bite.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was many years ago, back when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Indonesia. I remember it like it was yesterday - the sun shining brightly overhead, the sounds of birds chirping in the distance, and the smell of spices wafting through the air.

It all started one day when I was walking through the market with my mother. We were on our way to buy some fresh vegetables for dinner when we passed by a group of women gathered around a large pot. They were all laughing and chatting as they stirred the contents of the pot, filling the air with the most incredible aroma.

Curious, I wandered over to see what they were cooking. As I got closer, I saw that they were making gado-gado - a traditional Indonesian dish made with a colorful mix of vegetables, tofu, and peanut sauce. I had never seen anything like it before, and I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make it myself.

I watched intently as the women cooked, taking mental notes of each ingredient they added and each step they took. When they finally finished and served up bowls of steaming gado-gado, I couldn't resist asking for the recipe.

To my surprise, the women were more than happy to share their secrets with me. They told me about the different vegetables they used - cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and more - and how they blanched them to perfection. They explained how they marinated the tofu in soy sauce and fried it until it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And most importantly, they revealed the recipe for the peanut sauce - a delicious blend of peanuts, coconut milk, and spices that made the dish truly unforgettable.

I hurried home that day, eager to try my hand at making gado-gado for myself. I gathered all the ingredients I needed and set to work in the kitchen, following the instructions the women had given me as closely as I could.

As I cooked, the memories of that day in the market flooded back to me. I could almost hear the laughter of the women and smell the spices in the air. And when I finally sat down to eat my very own bowl of gado-gado, it tasted just as delicious as I remembered.

From that day on, gado-gado became a staple in my household. I made it for my family and friends, delighting in their reactions as they savored each bite. And as the years went by, I continued to perfect my recipe, adding my own twists and tweaks to make it truly my own.

Now, as I stand in my kitchen, surrounded by the familiar sights and smells of cooking, I can't help but feel grateful for that fateful day in the market. It was the day that changed my life, the day that introduced me to the wonders of gado-gado and set me on a culinary journey that I will never forget.

And as I serve up a steaming bowl of gado-gado to my loving family, I know that I will continue to pass down this recipe for generations to come. Because some recipes are more than just a list of ingredients - they are a connection to the past, a link to our heritage, and a reminder of the love and joy that can be found in every bite.


| Bean Sprout Recipes | Cashew Recipes | Chayote Recipes | Fresh Chile Pepper Recipes | Hard-boiled Egg Recipes | Indonesian Recipes | Indonesian Salads | Indonesian Vegetarian | Peanut Recipes | Spinach Recipes | Tamarind Recipes |

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