Saturday, February 21, 2015

Recipe - Baton de Manioc (Yucca Sticks)

Manioc, Yucca, Cavassa, and Mogo are all names for the same tuber plant native to South America but grown and consumed widely through central Africa.  I'm sure most of you have had it before in one form or another.  It's what tapioca is made from.

While poor in protein, it packs a high caloric punch.  Interestingly enough, the leaves do have protein so the plant as a whole is a very good food source to have nearby.

You are going to peel, grate and mash these funny looking tubers.  My arm definitely got a work out in.

I knew that banana leaves must be big.  But wow!  They are REALLY big.  I can honestly say that I've never cooked with either of these ingredients before.

Baton de Manioc 


  • Banana Leaves
  • 2 lbs yucca


  1. Peel the outer skin.
  2. If you live outside of the US, soak the yucca for three days before preparing in order to remove naturally occurring poisons.  In the US they are pre-soaked.
  3. Using a cheese grater, grate the yucca but don't grate up the woody core as it's not good to eat.

  4. Mush into a thick paste with a mortar and pestle, pastry cutter or potato masher.  I used a combo of pastry cutter and potato smasher.  I've also read that you can take a fork to it.

  5. Cut the banana leaves into about the size of sheet of paper.  Most of mine were a little smaller than that.
  6. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the yucca paste in a little row and wrap the banana leaf around it to make a 1 by 4 or 5 inch packets.  In Africa they are often 2 by 12 inches, but I don't have any way to steam something that size.

  7. Steam the packets for around 6 hours.  Many of the recipes said that or longer, but they were also cooking larger batons.  You'd probably be okay with 4 hours.
  8. Be careful when removing the batons from the steam.  Steam is by definition very, very hot.  So use care.
  9. Remove the banana leaf wrapper and enjoy the stachy goodness within.


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