Skip to content

Experiment: Spicy Roasted Cassava (Yuca Root)

In my ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Cassava, I noted that, not only is the vegetable widely used in Latin America (where it originates), it is also very popular in Indonesia. I looked at quite a few recipes when I was trying to decide how to prepare the root I purchased and I finally decided to do a dish that incorporated the cooking methods and seasonings of both regions.

In Indonesia, the vegetable is often boiled with spices and then deep-fried afterwards. I, however, thought it might be nice to boil it first and then roast it, South American fashion, using spices from the Indonesian flavor palette…

The Ingredients

  • 1 small Cassava (about 1 lb. or so)
  • 2 tbsp. ground Turmeric
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Green Cardamom Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Seed
  • Lemon Juice (about 3 tbsp. in all)
  • 1 ¼ tbsp. Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 tbsp. Cooking Oil
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Red Chili
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp. Dried Parsley

Preliminary Steps

Peel the Cassava. Cut it into sections then cut each section lengthwise into four pieces. There is a hard, woody core in the center of the Cassava so slice this away from each piece and then cut them all into irregular bite size pieces.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the Coriander seeds, cloves and Cardamom. Stir for a few minutes until they start to brown slightly then add the Turmeric, blending it with the oil.

 Add 4 cups or so of water to the saucepan along with a tablespoon of the salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. When it all starts to boil, add the Cassava pieces and cook for about 10 minutes or so until they are just starting to become tender. Drain away the liquid and after, the pieces have cooled, discard the Cardamom, Cloves and as many of the Coriander seeds as possible.

Crush the Cumin seeds in a mortar (without pulverizing them completely) and put them in a deep bowl long with the Chili and parsley, the remaining oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the Cassava pieces in this and then spread them out in a roasting pan large enough so that they are not too tightly pressed together.

The Final Cooking

First, pre-heat our oven to 450 degrees…

I decided to cook the Cassava long with an Indonesian style roasted Chicken that I rubbed with salt, sugar, garlic and ginger paste, and then marinated for several hours with soy sauce. The collateral benefit of this is that I would be able to cook the chicken and the Cassava at much the same time. The Chicken takes a good 50 or 60 minutes to cook at this temperature so the Cassava, which only needs 20 or 30 minutes, can be put into the oven after 40 minutes or so. Obviously, if you are cooking it alone, you can put into cook as soon as the oven is hot enough…

During cooking, keep an eye on things and turn the Cassava pieces from time to time so that they brown nicely and crisp up here and there. If you also cook this with chicken, then take the chicken pieces out of the oven a few minutes before the Cassava and let it rest for a moment while the Cassava finishes. Finally, plate everything and then serve.

The Verdict

I served the Chicken and Cassava with a dipping sauce made with a garlic mayonnaise spiced up with chili paste. The Chicken was cooked with a pretty common recipe around here so there were no particular surprises with that dish, but the Cassava got mixed results …

I enjoyed the Cassava but, to be quite honest, my feeling was that it could just as easily have been potato for all the difference in taste. My wife, however, said she absolutely hated it and ended up eating no more than a few pieces. This surprised me, I have to say, as I know she likes all the spices I used and there was nothing unusual about this particular combination. Possibly, there was some interaction with the Cassava and one or more of the spices that produced an effect she didn’t like. Anyway, I have a greater appreciation for the versatility of this root after attempting my experiment and I would like to try a few other methods of preparation sometime…

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like the experimenting! 🙂

    June 5, 2012
  2. Looks very taste tantalizing! Can the chicken be replaced with Tofu or something else for vegetarians?

    June 5, 2012
    • Oh absolutely … The chicken was just what I had on hand that night. The experiment was all about the Cassava. The chicken wasn’t especially chosen to be paired with the vegetable…

      June 7, 2012
  3. Could it be that there were just too many different spices or the quantity of spices too much for just one pound of cassava?
    Good for you for experimenting.

    June 5, 2012
    • Hmmmm…. I don’t think so. The first set of spices just flavoured the boiling water and the overall taste of the spices wasn’t especially strong or overpowering…. a different combination may have made my wife like it better maybe?

      June 7, 2012
  4. Hi!
    It looks delicious, I love yuca 🙂

    June 8, 2012
  5. Wow! I’ve been traveling in Latin America for the last couple months and have eaten cassava/yuca multiple times and can’t truthfully say I’ve ever enjoyed it, but your recipe looks better than anything I’ve found down here. And I love the idea of such gastronomic diversity way up yonder! Keep it up!
    (And thanks for stopping by my travel blog too!)

    June 8, 2012

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .

REMCooks

My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design

DENTIST CHEF

Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Chefsopinion

Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

HolyPrettyApple

If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes

Rabbitcancook

a recipe sharing and bento blog

benleeirene

Just another WordPress.com site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine

FOODTRAIL

A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations

bcfoodieblogger

Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: