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Macadamia Gado Gado

I’ve been waiting for this Tuesday Night Vego Challenge moment. I made it this time last year intending to post the recipe, but I was never quite happy enough with it to post it. This time though, I’ve think I’ve nailed a satay sauce based on macadamias and with no coconut milk.  So much so that we’ve gone for it several days in a row. Canned coconut milk is not a local ingredient for me, and I avoid canned foods as much as I can, both because the resource costs of canning are silly, and because I don’t trust the BPA in can linings.  Macadamias though are local.  Peanuts would be too, but macas are easier for me to grow.

The sweet spot where all the ingredients line up in season together for me is late winter/early spring, when the macadamias are just finishing but the egg glut is just starting,  there are lots of sweet baby vegies perfect for steaming, and the weather starts to feel like salad days again.

This one has so many superfoods in it that I’m not even going to list them. And probably in a pretty perfect balance too.

The Recipe:

For two adult serves.

Part One: The Vegies

Part one is just a salad of lightly steamed spring vegies with optional extras like boiled eggs.

If you are good at multitasking, you can juggle this at the same time as making the satay sauce that is the real star of the dish.

  • I put some baby beets on first in the pressure cooker, cooked them for a couple of minutes,
  • then let the pressure off and added some whole baby carrots and halved baby leeks, cooked them for a couple of minutes,
  • then let the pressure off and added peas, snow peas, broccoli, chinese cabbage and a couple of stalks of asparagus,
  • brought that up to pressure, turned it off and let it sit while the rest came together.

At the same time, I put two of our little bantam eggs for each of us on to boil.  I tried to choose the oldest of them so they would be easier to peel.

Part 2: The Satay Sauce

Dry roast half a cup of roughly chopped macadamias in a heavy frypan for just a couple of minutes till they start to turn light gold.

Tip them into a mortar and pestle and grind to a paste. (A food processor just doesn’t do it – they need to be ground. It only takes a couple of minutes with a mortar and pestle though.)

Add a little oil to the fry pan and sauté together:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • a marble sized knob of fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • a marble sized knob of fresh turmeric, chopped fine (or substitute a half a teaspoon of powder)
  • one chili (more or less, depending on how hot your chilis are and how spicy you like your food.

As soon as the onion is translucent, tip all this in with the macadamia paste and blend together.  I can use my stick blender directly in the bowl of the mortar and pestle, but you use what you have.


  • Juice of a lime (or you can substitute  about 30 ml lemon juice)
  • a scant teaspoon of soy sauce
  • enough water to make a smooth sauce (about 4 tablespoons)

Taste and adjust the lime and soy to taste.  You may like to add a tiny pinch of brown sugar, or not – I don’t add sugar – the macas make it quite sweet enough for me.


Peel and halve the eggs and the beets.  Arrange the vegetables on serving plates and smother in the sauce.  Serve any leftover sauce on the side.


{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Marijke August 29, 2012, 8:19 am

    Hi Linda,
    Do you have some good advice to crack macadamia’s “quickly”?
    My neighbour has given me an enormous bag of (double) unshelled maca’s, with my little screw cracker is about an hour do get a handful of shelled ones. I read half a cup in your recipe and groan…
    Thanks. Marijke

  • Africanaussie August 29, 2012, 9:09 am

    Oh gosh that looks delicious – I did a similar thing last night but that sauce would have taken it to sublime! I was recently in South Africa where they have a lot of “baby vegetables” I noticed you talked about baby beets. Are the baby vegetables just picked small? a search on the internet says they could be a hybrid to create small veggies or picked small, so no answer there. They had quite an assortment which would all taste wonderful in this type of dish. Tiny butternut (so cute), zuchini, gemsquash, eggplant, pattypan squash, and beets.

  • Fiona August 29, 2012, 9:14 am

    Thanks for another gorgeous recipe Linda. I often look at your Tuesday recipes and wish I lived at your place! I am just in awe of your culinary creativity and your wonderful garden. You’re a month or even six weeks ahead of us with the season though, so it gives me a bit of time to plan and plant our garden. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. fiona

  • Sarah August 29, 2012, 1:15 pm

    That looks delicious. Gado gado is something that I really should try and put into our regular dinner rotation heading into summer. I don’t know why it isn’t!

    We had a dry potato and celeriac curry with a side of brown rice with black beans. The celeriac was delicious!

  • Tanya @ Lovely Greens August 29, 2012, 5:37 pm

    This recipe looks SO GOOD! My husband usually complains when it’s a ‘Veggie Night’ but I think that even he would be keen on having this delicious looking dish.

    I’ve just recently found out about the BPA risks of tinned foods but wasn’t really thinking about the danger of non-acidic contents. I think it’s something I’ll need to have a look into…

  • Linda August 29, 2012, 5:38 pm

    Celeriac is something I have to get into properly. I’ve grown it a few times but never really truly discovered it.

  • Linda August 29, 2012, 5:39 pm

    Baby carrots are a variety of carrots, but baby beets for me are just beets picked young.

  • Linda August 29, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Hi Marijke, my maca cracker is the kitchen tool that changed macas from something only a kid would go to the effort of getting out of the shell, to something I use routinely in Tuesday Night Vego Challenge dinners (the rules of which say that it has to be able to be made from scratch in half an hour). I got mine at markets years ago, but I have seen one in a Green Harvest catalogue.

  • Darren (Green Change) August 30, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Yum, by coincidence we had gado gado last night. I used peanut butter in the sauce – didn’t even think of using some of our macadamias! Next time…

  • Sandy August 31, 2012, 4:58 pm

    That looks absolutely amazing! We’ll have to try it

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