Manioc. Chips/Fries Otherwise.

Manioc

Manioc. If you don’t know this root vegetable yet, I’ll try to convince you otherwise. If you know it already … then, I can only envy you!

Such a delicious discovery. It all started in Brazil. Remember? Amongst the many different foods we ate, we also tried the ‘mandioca frita’. Eh? Manioc chips? Living in Belgium there is a certain apprehension whenever someone else around the world is trying to sell you fries (chips). Yeah, right!

But these. These fries were the best we ever had. Or almost (sorry to the Belgian audience/ readership!). They were delicious. Fluffy. Crunchy. Crispy. Everything a fry should be. And then some extra added for good measure.

Back in Belgium, I was determined to try and recreate these manioc fries. Granted, there is always the reality that holiday food never tastes the same at home. But fries are fries, right? Wrong!

We went to Matonge (the African neighbourhood in Brussels, which in itself deserves a post … coming soon) and bought manioc. Somehow this root vegetable I always passed by and wondered what to do with it, seemed so accessible. Inviting. Asking ‘fry me, fry me’. Strange, I know. Who knew vegetables can talk?

At home, I tend to stay away from the fryer. Not because I don’t like my fried food (guilty pleasure), but because Mark knows the deep fryer. So: Mark meet manioc. Manioc, meet Mark. The actual process of getting the manioc from its root state to a perfect chip is a little more complex than your usual potato but so worth the effort. Trust me.

1 Manioc, 2 People
Peel the manioc.
Cut the manioc into strips. (Your fries to be)
Cook the manioc in boiling water and salt.
Drain the manioc. Let it cool and dry. Let me repeat this: let it cool and dry. This is one of the most important steps.
Heat the oil to a high temperature in a frying pan or deep fat fryer.
Add the manioc.
Fry until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen towel. Season with (sea) salt. Serve.

Now, aren’t these the best fries you ever had? I thought so.
Brazil and back. We have mastered the mandioca frita. What else could we try cooking with manioc? Now that we are on the same wave length and we discovered how delicious it is – what next? I’d love to have your suggestions. Oh, and have you tried the manioc fries?

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