Ginataang Kamoteng Kahoy made of cassava stewed in sweetened coconut milk. Loaded with mini sago and jackfruit strips, it makes a delicious midday snack or after-meal dessert.
While frozen grated cassava is almost always available at the Asian supermarkets I go to, the whole tubers, however, are harder to find. So when I do find them in abundance, I make sure to stock up a good few pounds.
Kamoteng kahoy, like most root crops, have a long shelf life and will keep well for weeks but they seldom sit long in my produce bin. As soon as I get home from the store with my precious loot, I straightaway turn them into this ginataan with mini sago and langka or into creamy nilupak with butter, condensed milk, cheese.
How to Buy and Cook Cassava
- Choose roots that are firm and have no soft spots. To check for freshness, break off the end of the root; the inside flesh should be snowy white with no brown specks, lines or discolorations.
- Cut the tuber crosswise into 3 to 4-inch segments to make peeling more manageable.
- Using a sharp paring knife, slice the tuber lengthwise through the thick bark and carefully insert the thin end of the knife between the bark and the flesh to loosen. If the skin won’t peel easily, cut off the ends of the tuber and stand the root up on its end. With the knife, slice vertically down the sides of the root to peel the skin.
- To prevent discoloring, soak the peeled tubers in a bowl of cold water until ready to use. The cassava can be stored in the refrigerator covered in cold water for up to 3 days.
- Slice the peeled cassava lengthwise in half, remove the woody core, and cut into about 1 1/2 to 2-inch size for this recipe.
Tips on How to Make Ginataang Kamoteng Kahoy
- Cut the tubers in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
- Cook the mini sago in a pot of boiling water about 1 to 2 minutes less than package directions as they will continue to cook in the coconut milk. Rinse in cold water to rid of excess starch and drain well.
- If using sweetened jackfruit (usually sold in bottles at supermarkets), drain well as they’re usually packed in heavy syrup.
- The coconut milk will be thin at the beginning; the addition of the sago will help it thicken it.
- Don’t skip the salt! It will boost the flavor of the otherwise bland kamoteng kahoy and help balance the sweetness of the dish.