Hello, there! Today I was feeling the blues, so here we are with another “Caribbean Vibes” post about Cassava Pancakes. Never heard about Cassava or Yuca? Don’t worry, you’ll learn a bit about it today.
What about Cassava?
Cassava (also known as yuca, tapioca or manioc), is a perennial bush, native to the tropical area of the Americas. Its main edible part is the root, although the leaves are also suitable for animal and human consumption. Its exterior is brown, often sold covered in wax for longer shelf life, and its interior is white.
In Dominican Republic it was used by the Taínos (indigenous people that lived in what is today Dominican Republic-Haiti before the arrival of Columbus in the 15th century) as the main ingredient for casabe (crunchy flatbread made from finely shredded cassava, with the starch removed). Today, cassava remains an important part of the diet in the island, and its starch is used in the textile industry and to manufacture paper and adhesives.
Cassava is the perfect ingredient if you need a simple food that will keep you full for a long time, because it is rich in complex carbs – starch (which we dominicans love!); and, with no gluten involved which makes it easily digested.
Buying and Storing Cassava
The best cassava you can find on the market is smooth and bright white inside, with no bruises or black veins. Only way to know in you spotted good cassava is by snapping the ends or by asking kindly to the vendor to cutting it in half.
If for some reason you buy cassava and it has some minor black veins, it won’t be good for boiling to make purees or stews; but you can still use it for hash browns or pancakes, as long as it doesn’t smell bad.
To preserve the cassava for longer time, you can always peel and rinse, then cut lengthwise to remove the woody core and freeze.
When cooking in stews, you can add it from the freezer straight away to the pot. If, on the other hand, you are preparing these pancakes, let the cassava thaw a little and follow the directions as normal.
Preparing the Cassava
There is no rocket science needed to make Cassava pancake. You literally need just 4 ingredients, maybe 5; if you want to get fancy, and you’ll also need a guayo (box grater) or a food processor, to finely shred the cassava. The process is super straight-forward: peel, grate, mix, cook, enjoy!
For those of you who don’t know, this is the guayo… 🙂
To peel the cassava, cut off both end; then, cut lengthwise through the brown bark and under the pink skin that is under the bark. Pull off with a kitchen knife to loosen the skin. Rinse with cold water before cooking.
How to make Cassava Pancakes
This recipe is incredibly easy to make. You just need grated cassava, egg (or flax egg, to make vegan), salt and pepper.
To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of flax seeds meal with 3 Tbsp of warm water, and let sit for about 5 minutes. By that time it will have a thick, gel-like consistency. Add this to the cassava.
To shape the pancakes, I took a spoonful of the mixture and placed it in a hot skillet with a teaspoon of coconut oil. I flatten it out the “dough” with the back of the spoon and let it cook on medium low until the bottom was golden. Flip and let cook for another 2 minutes on the other side, and they are ready for you to enjoy.
This recipe yields 6 pancakes but you can easily double or triple according to your needs.
Meatless meat in the making
Cassava is very forgiving and goes well with pretty much anything, but to accompany these cassava pancakes I made some “beefless ground beef”, basically because I was trying to get the idea out of my head . The ingredients and directions are the same as the ingredients of our Ultimate Vegan Meatballs, with a few tweaks:
- Make just half of the recipe
- Substitute quick cooking oats with a mix of ground almonds and walnuts.
- Don’t add the extra water (I wanted a more chunky consistency, so the water wasn’t necessary).
- Follow the directions up until the food processor part, then, put it back on the pan, mixed with the ground nuts and cooked for an extra 2 minutes.
If you want more details on how to make this beefless ground beef, go and visit the Ultimate Vegan Meatballs post 😉
- 300 gr Cassava, finely shredded
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Coconut oil (for the skillet)
- For the Beefless Ground Beef:
- 200 gr Mushrooms
- 50 gr Roasted Almonds, ground
- 50 gr Roasted Walnuts, ground
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/8 Cup Dried Oregano
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Peel and rinse the cassava. Cut in pieces.
- Grate the cassava with the smaller size of the box grater, or use a food processor.
- Mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook in a hot skillet with a teaspoon of coconut oil (or your preferred one) until the bottom is golden brown.
- Flip and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes (time will depend on how thick your pancakes are)
- For the Beefless Ground Beef:
- Clean mushrooms: Soak in cold water for a few minutes. Finish cleaning with a paper towel or little brush.
- Heat your pan on medium-high heat. Add oil (you can skip to make oil-free), mushrooms and seasonings. Cook until there is no excess water left and the mushrooms are cooked through.
- Process with a food processor, add oregano and pulse a few times until you get the texture similar to ground beef.
- Transfer the mixture to the pan, and the nuts and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes. Enjoy!
I have to say that the combo of cassava pancakes with the meatless ground beef was excellent and it seriously kept me full for the whole day! Total win!
This is it for today, guys. Hope you enjoy this extremely easy recipe as much as I enjoy sharing it with you (and eating it! lol) If you want to see more recipes like this, let us know in the comment section or head over instagram to let us know! We are also on pinterest, sharing our favorite recipes from the blogosphere! Don’t forget to share with your friends, and why not, make them some cassava pancakes 😉
Until next time!