Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks have been serving up recipes for healthful, natural cuisine ever since the collective published its 1974 edition with illustrations hand-drawn and text hand-written by Molly Katzen. From that day until this, the Moosewood Restaurant collective has been acclaimed as a driving force in the world of vegetarian cooking. The New York Times listed The Moosewood Cookbook as one of the top 10 bestselling cookbooks of all time. Bon Appetit magazine selected the restaurant as one of the 13 most influential of the 20th century. With its latest cookbook, The Moosewood Restaurant Table, the collective continues to thrive and make a very positive impact on the whole foods movement.

The very popular gado gado plate of steamed and raw vegetables on a bed of spinach topped with a spicy peanut sauce has been served at Moosewood Restaurant for decades, and it’s pretty close to what you would find among some Indonesian variations of gado gado. The Moosewood version is vegetarian and omits the dried shrimp paste that Indonesians would include in the peanut sauce.

The Moosewood Restaurant Gado Gado

Recipe type: main dish. Cuisine: Indonesian. Prep time:  25 mins. Cook time:  25 mins. Total time:  50 mins. Serves: 6 to 8. Yields about 4 cups of sauce; enough for 6 to 8 servings


Gado Gado Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, minced, or ½ 1 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1½ tablespoons peeled and fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


To make the peanut sauce:

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, if using, and tamarind concentrate.

Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the water, coconut milk, and vinegar, increase the heat to a low simmer, and cook, covered for 3 minutes.

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.

Remove the bay leaf.

Stir in the soy sauce, and add more to taste.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare and steam vegetables you like until they are just tender.

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.

Serve the peanut sauce in a separate bowl or ladle some over the vegetables and pass more at the table.


Steamed Vegetables: broccoli spears, diagonally sliced carrots, strips of red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped green cabbage, potato wedges, and sugar snap peas, Raw fresh spinach leaves.

Extras: Mung bean sprouts, baked tofu, and hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges, tomato wedges.

Read More: The Moosewood Restaurant