Vegan GadoGado Salad

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Are you ready for fresh and hearty veggie-loaded meals? I am! Spring makes me crave fresh vegetables and copious amounts of peanut sauce. Since I’ve made my veggie spring rolls (and variations) too many times to count, I figured it was time to try something a little different. This Indonesian gado-gado-inspired salad is right up my alley.

Typically, gado-gado (which translates to mix-mix) is a hearty Indonesian salad with cooked and fresh vegetables (customized based on what’s available and in season), fried tempeh or tofu, hard-boiled eggs, plenty of rich peanut sauce, and toppings like ground peanuts, fried onion, and prawn crackers. All we have to do to veganize this tasty salad is remove the eggs and swap out the prawn crackers for rice crackers. How simple is that?

Our version is heavy on the fresh veggies: shaved purple cabbage, thin-sliced cucumber and radish, julienned carrot, green onion, and cilantro (if you’ve got ’em, add some bean sprouts too.) In the cooked veggie department we’re using tender-skinned Fingerling potatoes (from The Little Potato Company) and blanched green beans. The Little Potato Company’s Fingerlings are perfection in this salad! Alongside protein-rich tempeh and peanut sauce, the Creamer potatoes add a certain “oomph” to this salad. Fingerlings have a wonderful tender-firm texture that’s ideal for salads. Little Potatoes do double duty as a comforting source of carbs and a vegetable chock-full of nutrients like potassium, iron, and vitamin C. They cook nice and quickly with no peeling necessary – that means extra fibre for you!

The peanut sauce in this recipe is a little different from my usual go-to. Gado-gado peanut sauce uses ground peanuts, palm sugar, garlic, chilies, tamarind, lime juice, and salt. To save time, we’re using peanut butter, sambal + red curry paste (in place of the chilies),  and a food processor. Sadly I couldn’t get my hands on any tamarind locally, so that had to be left out. If you have some handy, use it! Tamarind adds a nice sweet and sour tang, so you may prefer to reduce the amount of coconut sugar and lime juice to compensate. This zippy, creamy sauce should be served warm. Be sure to taste and adjust the sauce to suit your preferences: sweeten it up with extra coconut sugar,  or make it zippier with an extra squeeze of lime.

This is a great build-your-own-bowl meal. The amount of each vegetable can be adjusted however you like (you’ll want a total of at least 4 cups of veggies – not including the potatoes). For an extra satisfying meal, add a scoop of brown rice. The peanut dressing recipe makes enough for about 4 large bowls. After you’ve assembled your bowl, top it with fried onion, crushed salted peanuts, and a squeeze of lime. Hello veggie heaven!

This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company. We love them for their commitment to simple, healthy whole foods like their delicious Creamer potatoes. Thanks for supporting the brands that support I Love Vegan! Learn more about why we love Little Potatoes at


Ingredients :

  • 1 cup shaved purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 3 stalks green onion, sliced
  • 1 lb of The Little Potato Company’s Fingerling Creamer potatoes
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 1/3 cups cubed tempeh
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 handful cilantro (optional)
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted salted peanuts, crushed
  • salted rice crackers
  • fresh lime juice, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sambal
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted salted peanuts

Instructions :

  1. Prep all vegetables.
  2. Add The Little Potato Company’s Fingerlings to a pot of boiling water and cook for 12 minutes. Add the green beans and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Strain and rinse under cold water to chill. Halve the Fingerlings lengthwise. Set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed tempeh, season with pinch or two of salt, and cook until tempeh is golden brown and crisp and all sides. Set aside.
  4. Assemble bowls: Divide potatoes and tempeh evenly between bowls. Add desired veggies. Sprinkle with salt. Top with warm peanut sauce, green onion, cilantro, crushed peanuts, rice crackers, and lime juice.
  5. In a food processor, combine peanut butter, garlic, coconut sugar, red curry paste, and sambal. Process well. Add coconut milk, fresh lime juice, soy sauce, water, and salt. Process until smooth. Add the peanuts and process just enough to break them um but not purée them. Warm gently (in microwave or double boiler) before serving.

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On the Blog: December