I returned from my trip to Bali full of inspiration and wanderlust. The food was (of course) one of the highlights of our trip, along with our cooking class in Sideman. It was a dream for me to wander though the market in the morning – seriously bigger than a Costco but instead filled with fresh fruits, spices, and flowers for daily offerings – trek through Yuri’s rice field, and cook with him all day long. We grated fresh coconuts to make coconut milk, ground nuts in a huge mortar and pestle to make gado gado, steamed baskets of rice, and smashed together curry pastes. The result was one of the most delicious meals of my life.

Today I’m sharing my take on gado gado – traditionally a peanut sauce, and one of my favorite recipes that we made. I use almond in my version and you could certainly use peanuts to get a more authentic flavor (I’m excited to try it out with this nut butter that I have in my pantry)! This sauce is delicious drizzled on vegetables and grain bowls all week long. If you prefer to mellow out the flavors of the shallot and garlic, you can roast them with the vegetables and then blend them into the dressing. In this recipe, I pair the gado gado with lots of vegetables – both roasted and steamed – and nasi kuning, a very traditional rice dish made with coconut milk and turmeric. This rice would also pair super well with steamed fish or grilled shrimp skewers. Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for some more Bali inspired recipes! Don’t forget to check out my Bali guides before you plan your trip 🙂

Steamed fish in Bamboo leaves, lemongrass skewers, green bean salad, and nasi kuning made at our villa, Pantai Indah.


Serves 4

Nasi Kuning

  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric (or 1 inch fresh, grated)
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


Gado Gado

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small red chili or red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime + more as needed
  • Pink salt or sea salt, to taste


For the bowl:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 summer squash, cut into one inch rounds  
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 package of tempeh, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons OmegaOil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or gf low sodium tamari)
  • 1 cup haricots verts, steamed
  • Couple handfuls of water spinach, steamed
  • Couple handfuls of mung bean sprouts, steamed
  • Nasi Kuning or rice (recipe below)
  • Top with fried shallots, toasted desiccated coconut, toasted nuts or seeds, and cilantro

For the rice: Bring the coconut water, water, turmeric, salt, bay leaf, lemongrass, and lime to a boil. Add the rice, stir, and simmer until the rice is cooked through. Remove from heat, cover with a kitchen towel or paper towel and lid, and let steam for 10 more minutes. Lightly and enjoy.


For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 350F. Toast almonds for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool slightly then add to the food processor and pulse until well blended. You can add a little bit of warm water as needed to help move it along. Pulse in the remaining ingredients, blend until smooth, and season to taste with salt + lime.


Turn the oven up to 400F. Line two sheet pans with parchment and toss the cauliflower, zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tempeh with the oil and coconut aminos. Roast for 25 – 35 minutes or until cooked and golden.


Serve veggies with rice and steamed veggies. Top with fried shallots, toasted coconut flakes/nuts/seeds, cilantro and generous drizzle of gado gado. Serve with more gado gado on the side.