Balinghoy / Cassava Products

Last Updated on November 4, 2020 by marvz

Cassava is also known as balinghoy and kamoteng kahoy.

Like rice, cassava is a good energy source. Perhaps you are snacking on cassava products but cannot take it as a complete rice replacement. I suggest trying once in a while and see if it would make a difference.

How to roast balinghoy – whole roasted cassava

It’s my favorite.

Follow the steps to make whole roasted cassava:

  1. Get cassava, with its peels intact, cover it with a set of burning coconut husks.
  2. Wait patiently. It’s ready as soon as the ember dies out.
  3. Remove the charred peels diligently and witness the nice white looking delicacy.
  4. Enjoy! It’s dry, powdery, bland but absolutely irresistible.

Hot to boil cassava – nilagang kamoteng kahoy

Roasted cassava is good, but making it for everyone entails a lot of work and needs a lot of husks. Boiled cassava is a better option.

  1. Get cassava, cut off both ends.
  2. Pry off the peel.
  3. Rinse the block with running water.
  4. Then boil until tender, which can be confirmed by poking with a fork.

Mom had the bad habit of adding salt. I hated it because it’s weird dipping salty cassava in sugar.

boil kamoteng kahoy taste bland but is quite enjoyable

How to make cassava suman

The next is cassava suman. Hurray! It requires less time to prepare than regular rice suman.

Follow the steps to make suman sa kamoteng kahoy:

  1. Take off cassava peels and rinse the blocks.
  2. Cut the blocks in halves and remove the thin hard strand in the middle.
  3. Grate.
  4. Mix with sugar to taste.
  5. Wrap in softened banana leaves, just like what you do with rice suman.
  6. Boil to a firm jelly as tested by piercing with a fork.

I’m thinking if it’s right to translate Filipino foods in English. Suman is called rice cake, yet puto is also called rice cake.

How to make plain cassava cake

A blend of grated cassava and sugar, flattened and cooked over a low heated pan. It’s sweet, a bit chewy, and has a weak to strong charcoal taste.

The ideal appearance is golden brown on both surfaces, but doing something else while… often results in burnt sides.

Modern cassava cake recipe includes sugar and milk. Also has curd coconut milk as toppings.

Follow the simple steps to make plain cassava cake:

  1. Get cassava.
  2. Wash to remove dirt.
  3. Remove the peels.
  4. Cut in haves and remove the hard and thin strand in the middle.
  5. Grate using manual or electric grater.
  6. Mix with sugar to taste.
  7. Then cook in a pan over a low heat.
  8. Flip when the underneath is golden brown.

Alternatively, bake or steam:

  1. Mix the grated cassava with sugar and milk.
  2. Fill in muffin pans.
  3. Bake or steam.

The pichi pichi

I described it as a smaller, flatter, and softer version of puto. But, it’s made of cassava. It’s a steamed mixture of grated cassava, sugar, water, lye water, and flavorings. Then, coated with freshly grated coconut.

How to make nilupak na kamoteng kahoy – sweetened mashed cassava

A sweet and creamy food that often needs a few people to make.

What is nilupak in English? I can’t think of anything. But the closes product is mashed potato. So, I will call it sweetened mashed cassava.

Follow these steps to make nilupak na kamoteng kahoy:

  1. Combine boiled cassava, condensed milk, and margarine.
  2. Mash until homogeneous and tacky.
  3. Alternatively, mash by pounding all ingredients in a large mortar and pestle called lusong.

Mixture sticking to both mortar and pestle makes the process hard. Get two or more muscled men. Have them take turns to get the job done.

Nilupak made for immediate consumption is formed into balls. Most of the time, each person scooping a spoonful is more than enough to empty a large wooden mortar.

Items for sale come in a bunch of large strands topped with grated cheese.

The tapioca pearl – sago

One of my favorites since childhood. Tapioca pearl or more popularly known as sago. Come as round hard balls of various sizes that grow to soft but firm gel upon boiling.

Sago is popular as the inclusion of samalamig, cold juices of various flavors, which is sold to complement other street foods. The balls match the straw hole and it runs through when sipped.

How to make balinghoy chips

Out of curiosity, I tried frying cassava slices and it worked perfectly.

  1. Using a vegetable slicer, make thin and even cassava slices.
  2. Then, dip slices briefly in medium heated cooking oil.
  3. Get a stainless steel strainer and use it for quick dip and removal.
  4. Otherwise, there is a high chance of getting burnt chips because you can’t quickly scoop them all.

You’ll be amazed at how fast every piece reacts, expanding, curling, and floating.

Without drizzling any flavor, cassava chips are crispy, tasty, and quite enjoyable. The crispiness is rather short-lived though.

How to make cassava flour

Althought the common term is “Tapioca,” it’s also called as cassava powder. Sometimes cassava flour although it’s starch.

It’s pretty easy to make, without the need for complicated tools. Follow these steps to make cassava flour:

  1. Get cassava.
  2. Wash to remove dirt.
  3. Peel off.
  4. Break in half and remove the center strand.
  5. Grate. You may use electric or manual grater.
  6. Spread thinly in trays and dry under the sun.
  7. Dry in oven if sun-drying is not possible.

Balinghoy frequent questions and answers

Here are a few questions and answers that might help you clear your doubts.

1. Is cassava – balinghoy –  poisonous? Why?

Yes! It is.

The plant contains bitter cyanogenic glycosides as a defense mechanisms against pests.

A 2016 review done by Olaniyan and Adeladun Stephen Ajala, told the enzymes can turn cyanogenic glycosides into lethal hydrogen cyanide.

Hydrogen cyanide disrupts respiration,  with symptoms including vomiting, nausea, headaches, and convulsions.

2. Cassava grown in watery areas can be more bitter and more toxic

Matema L. E. Imakumbili, 2019, said,  increased cassava bitterness is related to cyanogenic glucoside. Further, water stress increases inherent toxicity.

3. How to cure cassava poisoning?

A case report made by  OB Espinoza et al stated that treatment should be done immediately. The chemicals sodium nitrite, thiosulfate, and hydroxocobalamin worked for the treatment of 8 poisoned children.

However, I strongly suggest to call a doctor immediately or take the patient to the hospital right away.

4. How to prevent cassava poisoning

A quick tip. Take a small bite. If it tastes bitter, then don’t eat.

5. How to get rid of cyanide poison out cassava –  balinghoy

Padmaja & Keith H. Steinkraus, 2009, cited ways to reduced cassava / kamoteng kahoy toxicity.

  1. Prefer sun-drying over oven drying. Sun-drying prolongs the contact time between linamarase and the glucosides.
  2. Soak the root crop and boil. Rather than soaking or boiling alone. Soaking in running water is even more effective.
  3. African gari and fufu process includes grating, dewatering, fermenting, and roasting. The process removes 80-95% of cyanide.
  4. Pound the leaves and boil.
  5. For cassava peels – ferment, boil, dry, and store in silo.

6. What’s the lethal dose of cyanide in cassava?

J. Venom. Anim et al,  1996, mentioned the lethal dose of cyanide is 1 mg/kg body weight. And cassava has 30 to 150 mg cyanide per kg root.

FAO said, the main toxic compound in cassava is linamarin.

Processing releases the enzyme linamarase. The linamarase then destroys the linamarin – producing volatile hydrogen cyanide.

Fermentation dissolves the hydrogen cyanide. Then drying evaporates the cyanide.

You may cook balinghoy leaves as vegetables

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