Gado gado sauce

During my time living in India, I was lucky enough to attend a number of workshops hosted by Dr Nandita Shah, an amazing woman who first opened my eyes to the amazing benefits of whole-food plant-based eating. And this was when I first encountered gorgeous Gado Gado.

So good it’s named twice, Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad made with crunchy raw and partially cooked rainbow vegetables served with a deliciously sweet and sour peanut sauce. Whilst the veggies were delightful, it was the sauce that was so memorable. Fortunately, we were sent home with the recipes after the workshop so I made this lovely sauce frequently.

However, this came to a halt after my MS diagnosis when I started the Overcoming MS programme. Why? Well, sadly, peanuts should be avoided due to their high amounts of omega 6 fats and connection with inflammation.

Of course, I was not deterred – I just had to find a good replacement. I’ve tried a variety of nut butters including cashew nut. It was ok, but lacked a little something. For me, almond butter is the best option. It’s still not quite as good as peanut, basically because nothing can replace that lovely peanut flavour. But it’s pretty close.

If you can’t tolerate nuts or peanuts at all, then use tahini instead. It gives a much stronger sesame flavour, but texture wise it’s also rather lovely.

You can use this sauce with hot and cold dishes like:

  • Gado Gado salad (of course!)
  • Noodle salad
  • Stir fried veg and noodles
  • Tofu, veg and rice
  • As a tasty dip

Soya sauce is needed to give the deep, salty flavour. If you need to make it gluten free, make sure you use tamari. And if you can’t tolerate soya or fermented foods, try coconut amines instead.

Feel free to make this Gado Gado sauce as spicy as you like. A good pinch of hot chilli powder should do the trick or a sprinkle of chilli flakes if you prefer.

I hope you enjoy this delicious Indonesian sauce as much as I do whether you go for the peanut, almond or tahini option. It brings the sunshine to your plate any time of the year.

Gado Gado sauce

A delicious Indonesian sauce for hot and cold veggie dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 portions


  • 3 tbsp peanut or almond nut butter or tahini for nut free
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce/tamari/coconut amines
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cm fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 lime juice only
  • water to thin if needed


  • Place all the ingredients into a small blender jug and blend to combine.
  • Add a little water to loosen and get a spooning consistency. Blend again.
  • Check the flavour and add more chilli or lime as needed.
  • Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.
Keyword almond butter sauce, anti-inflammatory diet, OMS friendly, peanut sauce


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