So I’ve been sharing all international recipes lately, it is time to get back to my Latin self : ) with this mini recipe.
This recipe is a family favourite, and I can assure you once you nail it Cassava fries are going to be your next Party pleaser.
I’ve talked about Cassava before regarding Tapioca and Cassava flour which are two by products of processing the Cassava root, but I had never shared one of the many things you can do with the raw Cassava root.
Cassava or Manioc is a super starchy root vegetable native from South America, it has a very mild flavour but when fried it turns into this crunchy nutty chip that becomes an amazing vehicle for many dips and sauces. Although difficult to find fresh in Australia, I’ve found it in almost every Asian Store Frozen, it comes as whole peeled roots or grated (which we can use for another recipe I am putting together at the moment). You could also find it in Latin Delis or online.
In Venezuela and many other Latin American countries as well as in the Caribbean, Cassava is part of the daily diet and is seen in many forms, in soups, desserts, side dishes and so many more, it is so as versatile full of fiber and is gluten free.
You can have Cassava fries with dips or sauce or as a side dish for bbq, or meaty dishes. They are also great as a side dish for burgers. I will share here my Guasacaca Sauce which is my go to for this Cassava Fries, this Guasacaca sauce is a tangy guacamole type sauce traditional from Venezuela and is a match made in heaven for Cassava.
Fresh or frozen Cassava root can be used grated for cakes as well as a replacement for flour and makes delicious moist cakes.
Although this recipe is similar to French fries, I can assure you that you can achieve crispy Cassava Fries much more easily that you do French Fries, due to the starchy nature of the Cassava root, once parboiled the fries turn very crispy when fried at high temperatures.
Only few steps to make this delicious side dish or party finger food, keep reading and if you happen to find Cassava some day I encourage you to give it a try.
Cassava fries & GuasacacaCuisine: Latin American, VenezuelanDifficulty: Easy
1 kg Fresh or Frozen Cassava Root (peeled or frozen)
Vegetable oil for frying
- Guasacaca Sauce
1 ripe avocado (peeled and pit removed)
1/2 brown onion (peeled cut roughly)
1 garlic clove (2 if you like it strong)
1/2 green capsicum (deseeded, roughly chopped)
1 bunch of Coriander (washed)
1/2 c neutral oil (canola or grapeseed, avoid olive oil)
juice of one lemon
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 tsp sugar (adjust to taste)
- Cassava fries
- If using fresh cassava you must peel and wash well before cooking, if using frosen they can be cooked from frozen.
- In a large pot add cassava, water to cover the cassava and a heaped spoon of salt, bring to boil and let simmer for 15 to 20 min until fork tender. Cassavas must be soft but not falling apart.
- Drain Cassava and let cool is best if you let them cool in the fridge so they harden a little bi again before cutting.
- Once cool, cut open in half vertically and remove the inner woody vein. Start cutting in smaller sticks of about 1 cm thickness, you can do them as large or small as you wish I like the to be about 5 cm long.
- In a deep frying pan or fryer heat oil to about 180C and fry cassava sticks in batches until golden and crispy. Drain in paper towels and season with flaked salt.
- Guasacaca sauce
- In a blender add all the ingredients and blend till smooth, adjust seasoning to personal taste, the sauce should be tangy and slightly sweet and salty.
- If you like it creamy you can also add sour cream or cream cheese to the finished sauce and it turns to a smooth punchy guacamole.