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Gado Gado

This Indonesian salad with a chili-spiced creamy peanut dressing is called gado gado. It’s fun to say, yummy to eat and a nice use for organic alfalfa sprouts. Gado gado is usually served composed on a plate or serving platter, with all the vegetables arrayed, rather than tossed together in a bowl. It’s easier than it sounds — channel your inner food stylist. Just don’t forget the alfalfa sprouts. They’re excellent for digestion and are believed to help control cholesterol.


  • 1 potato sliced
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 2 carrots cut into sticks
  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage loosely packed
  • a dozen or so grape or cherry tomatoes
  • a handful organic alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu pressed and drained and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • a few tablespoons Indonesian peanut sauce recipe below
  • 1 15- ounce can coconut milk you can use light, but full fat gives you more lusciousness
  • 1/2 cup smooth organic peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek Asian chili sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons agave
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  • Chop green beans into bite-sized pieces. Steam or cook green beans until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 7 minutes.
  • Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
  • Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to boil. Add sliced potato. Cook until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Then add the carrot sticks and shredded cabbage to blanche. Continue cooking for 1 minute, so the carrots are bright orange but still crisp.
  • Drain the vegetables in a colander and rinse in cold water. Let them drain well, then blot dry, so there’s no water clinging to them.
  • Arrange green beans, potato slices, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, tofu and tomatoes on a large serving platter or on individual plates. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the warm peanut sauce.
  • Heat coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just reaches a simmer. Add peanut butter and stir gently, until peanut butter blends in with the cocnut milk.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add sambal oelek, soy sauce, agave and lime juice. Stir gently until sauce darkens and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Makes 2 cups.
  • Leftover dressing keeps refrigerated in a sealed container for three to five days.


* available in Asian markets, most natural food stores and some supermarkets.