September 1, 2006 5:44 PM

Yuca Root

Nope, it's not Yucca!

Nope, not at all. I just want to make this very clear, because if you try looking for Yucca root when you want Yuca root, you'll be terribly disappointed.

This is the plant you're looking for:

Yuca root is what they make tapioca out of! Have you seen Boba Tapioca pearls? Those are made from Yuca Root, too. Other great uses include anything you could use potatoes for, like Yuca Root gnocchi. Also, its flour can be used to make a wheat-alternative bread.

Yuca root is what they make tapioca out of! Have you seen Boba Tapioca pearls? Those are made from Yuca Root, too. Other great uses include anything you could use potatoes for, like Yuca Root gnocchi. Also, its flour can be used to make a wheat-alternative bread.

Something to be cautious of while preparing Yuca Root: The roots are poisinous if not treated. If you cook them, they are typically fine. Grating before cooking, or boiling for several minutes, are excellent methods of assuring your safety.

Cassava is the common name for the woody shrub Manihot Esculenta. While its origins are traced to South America, and its primary production is found in Brazil, it is also grown commercially in Zaire, Thailand, and Nigeria. It is a main staple starchy food with lots of Vitamin C, but offers little protein and lacks other vital nutrients.

Here's an up-close view of a leaf:

A photo of the root itself:

Here are some fascinating recipes that utilise Yuca Root:

LENTO

INGREDIENTS
0.5 kg Grated Cassava
Oil
Salt
1 clove Garlic
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

METHOD
1. Mix all ingredients, then form the mixture into oval shape ball.
2. Heat oil in deep fryer, and fry medium heat until it is golden and cooked. Put onto a kitchen towel paper.


CASSAVA & DANDELION FLOWER CRÊPES

When cassava flour is mixed with water or milk and cooked it becomes very sticky and almost has the colour of wallpaper paste too.

The proportions used here are a good starting point for any experimentation and the resulting crepe hasn't the least glue-like qualities, although you will notice a difference in the surface texture. The colour is also much paler.

PREPARATION

The petals come from recently opened or just opening dandelion flowers. Remove the green sepals then slice across the base of the flower receptacle to release the petals. Separate the petal bundles using your fingers, discarding any remaining green bits.
1 part cassava flour
2 parts milk
1 part egg - beaten
Salt
Dandelion flower petals
Lemon & honey or orange juice

METHOD

1.In a bowl mix the flour, milk and egg and whisk into a batter.
2. Leave for 10 minutes then stir in a good handful of dandelion petals and distribute evenly. Keep some petals back for garnishing if you wish.
3.In a skillet heat some oil till it is hot.
4.Spoon or pour in a dollop of the batter and swirl around to form a circular mass.
5. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side until lightly browned, then turn over and cook the other side for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
6. Remove from the skillet, plate, sprinkle over some more petals and drizzle over some honey and lemon, or orange juice.

BANANA CASAVA CAKE

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp Sugar
1 cup Coconut Cream (be sure to use coconut cream; not coconut milk)
4 mashed bananas
1 ½ - 2 pounds Fresh Cassava, peeled and grated

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven 350 F and lightly oil an 8 inch square cake pan.
2. Beat the coconut cream and sugar together.
3. Add the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly
4. Add the grated cassava and mix thoroughly.
5. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes until the top is a golden colour.

Photos come from these websites:
http://nonsenseverse.typepad.com/photos/philippines/img_0787.jpg
http://www.sxc.hu/pic/m/y/yu/yupsi/342636_cassava_leaf.jpg
http://www.projects.ex.ac.uk/pwh201/CSS/pictures/cassava.gif

Recipes come from these websites:
http://indonesian-food-recipes.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_indonesian-food-recipes_archive.html
http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wildfoodjj/cassvdan.htm
http://www.earthyfamily.com/FJ-recipe.htm

Here are some online references for Yuca Root:
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/cassava.html
http://www.bio.ilstu.edu/Armstrong/syllabi/cassava/cassava.htm
http://www.hormel.com/kitchen/glossary.asp?id=35498
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava

A handy guide for tubers in general:
http://www.foodsubs.com/Tubers.html


Christina | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (6)

Comments (6)

I can not find anything on just cooking the yuca root to be able to eat it(if you can)I bought some and I know it has good things in it, but how do I cook it?


Posted by Bruce | 2007-03-14

yucca,yuca roat,casava or tapioca it same thing, it just different type but they still in same family.i plant all this plant for living for many year before i come to US.Please make sure you didnt buy a wrong one..some it poisoning..it not killing you but can make you dizzy or drunk, we used to use to catch fish.{make it like powder and throw in the river ,lake or rice paddy..fish will come out and eat then they get drunk or die}if you see the picture on this website..that the correct one for human.you can see the red color near by the leaf.if it white or pearl color ..pls dont eat. The young yuca leaf can eat..you can cook curry with chicken or beef.


Posted by seene | 2007-11-16

Hello Christina, I came across your website researching Tapioca Root, among it's other names. You have two pictures that I would like to copy if it is okay with you. My Spiritual Teachings require that I do not steal anything in life otherwise I am in debt to negative energy that must be paid in this life or the next. My question for you is how much money for me to copy your close up leaf and basket of roots? Respectfully yours, Thomas Belles bellesink@yahoo.com


Posted by Thomas Belles | 2008-01-10

Would be nice to proofread articles sometimes before posting..."poisinous"...


Posted by KR | 2008-06-04

Bruce, Many people just peel and slice horizontally every two or so inches, then boil it in water for 45 minutes to an hour, add salt. Tastes good like that, but the spanish add a garlic and olive oil as dressing just to spice it up a bit. After boiling, you can then fry it like french fries, and that is delicious. You must boil it to remove the cyanide danger. I've eaten this stuff for 40 years, and I did become ill once when I didn't cook it well enough. MikeE


Posted by MikeE | 2008-08-01

Yes, yuca root can be cookes with coconut milk. We cook like that in Sri lanka. First cook small pieces of it till tender, then make a gravy with tumeric, onion, slices jalapeno, coconut milk, and tsp of fenugreek seeds, add curry leaves (if you have) just boil all of them, then add the cooked root piecies and enjoy with hot rice. I had it yesterday and it is so so good. Sam


Posted by samanmalee | 2009-05-11

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