Ginataang Kamoteng Kahoy is made of cassava stewed in sweetened coconut milk. It’s loaded with mini sago and jackfruit strips for 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 are harder to find. So when I find them in abundance, I stock up on a good few pounds.
Kamoteng kahoy, like most root crops, has a long shelf life and will keep well for weeks but seldom sit long in my produce bin. As soon as I get home from the store with my precious loot, I straight away turn them into this ginataan with mini sago and langka or into creamy nilupak with butter, condensed milk, and 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.
- Soak the peeled tubers in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration 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 it into about 1 1/2 to 2-inch size for this recipe.
- Cut the tubers in uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
- Cook the mini sago in a pot of boiling water for about 1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions, as they will continue to cook in the coconut milk. Rinse in cold water to rid of excess starch and drain well.
- Drain well if using sweetened jackfruit (usually sold in bottles at supermarkets), as they’re usually packed in heavy syrup.
- The coconut milk will be thin initially; adding the sago will help thicken it.
- Don’t skip the salt! It will boost the flavor of the otherwise bland kamoteng kahoy and help balance the dish’s sweetness.
How to serve and store
- Enjoy this cassava in coconut cream as a midday snack or after-meal dessert. It’s delicious warm or cold!
- To store leftovers, allow to cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Serve cold or reheat in a saucepan over low heat.