root crops

Balinghoy / Cassava Products

July 27, 2020

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

You may try the following.

Roasted Balinghoy

It is my favorite.

  • Get cassava, with its peels intact, cover it with a set of burning coconut husks.
  • Wait patiently. It is ready as soon as the smoldering ceases.
  • Remove the charred peels diligently and witness the nice white looking delicacy.
  • Enjoy! It is dry, powdery, bland but absolutely irresistible.


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

  • Get cassava, cut off both ends.
  • Pry off the peel.
  • Rinse the block with running water.
  • 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 was kind of weird dipping salty cassava in sugar.


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

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

Plain Cassava Cake

A blend of grated cassava and sugar, flattened and cooked over a low heated pan. It is 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 to burnt sides.

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

Pichi pichi

I described it as 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.


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

  • Combine boiled cassava, condensed milk and margarine.
  • Mash until homogeneous and tacky.
  • 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 ore more muscled men. Have them take turns to get the job done.

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

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

Tapioca pearl

One of my favorites ever 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.

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

Cassava Chips

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

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

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

Without drizzling any flavor, cassava chips are crisp, tasty and quite enjoyable. Crispiness is rather sort-lived though.

Cassava is also known as balinghoy and kamoteng kahoy.

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