Sunday, May 23, 2010
Pounded Cassava Dumpling (Fufu)
This was the first time I had ever purchased cassava. I had to look online to see what it looked like. After checking four different markets I finally found some at the big Whole Foods under another name - yuca. The recipe called for shredding the peeled cassava, then steaming it for forty-five minutes, and then mashing the daylights out of it with a blunt object. Something neat happens during the pounding. The stuff that starts out looking like raw hash browns turns into a stretchy, uniform mass.
Until now I held the modest assumption that vegetables do not contain bones. This does not apply to cassava. Once you shred, steam and mash it, you will discover a handful of pin bone-like twigs in the mix. I pulled most of them but did end up biting down on one or two during dinner.
Until now I also hadn't thought of soup as a finger food. But with fufu, yes it is. To eat it, you pinch off a piece of the fufu, shape it into a tiny bowl with your fingers if it's not too sticky, scoop some soup, and eat the whole thing. This recipe made a lot more soup than fufu, but that won't be a problem; we'll be happy to have the leftovers with rice or noodles.