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March 2018

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Make Magic

Cooking with Yuca.

"The cassava, cassada, yuca, manioc, mogo or mandioca (Manihot esculenta) is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) native to South America that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates."


The first time I peeled a yuca I used a regular peeler and I didn't have any trouble. But it turns out there is an easier way. The skin will peel easily if you make a small cut down the side and pry up an edge.
As I learned from Cassava (Yuca) 101

She has some great recipes too.

So this time I did that.

I was trying to make Fufu, a traditional West African Staple that is supposed to be very firm. Most of the recipes I found on the net said to grate the yuca and then cook it. Put the cooking process looked like it would burn easily. I decided to try cooking first in boiling water and mashing afterward.

Boiled yuca has the texture of dry cooked potatoes. It should make a very good German potato salad.

Mashing it turned out to be harder than anticipated. There were lots of strange hard bits. And I could not get the paste to go through a strainer or a ricer. I ended up putting it in the food processor.

My fufu was not as firm as I think it should it be. It was more like a thin and gummy mashed potatoes. It had a slightly different flavor than mashed potatoes but not a strong flavor. If you put in some garlic and cheese no one would probably notice it wasn't potatoes.

I served it with pork and ground nut (peanut) soup. The leftovers are in the fridge. I will have to see if it thickens when it cools.

Many of the online recipes call for fufu powder. Cassava is also used to make tapioca. Marilyn tells me she can get tapioca powder, so I might try to make fufu from that.

In the future I will buy frozen yuca so I don't have to do all the cutting and peeling. Yuca has very short shelf life some of my tubers had started to go bad. Buying frozen will prevent that too.

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