Cameroonian Couscous À La Japonaise


2 pounds (~ 4 large) yuca root


Boil the roots for ~25 min. until soft and the skins cut easily. Drain the roots and peel thoroughly. The peel can be toxic, so take care in this step. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mash the roots until completely smooth.
Shape into tightly formed balls.
To prepare the sauce, mix a tiny amount of wasabi into a dish of soy sauce. Serve alongside the Couscous balls for dipping.
Cameroonians prefer to pour their sauce of choice on the Couscous, but we've decided to serve the dish Japanese style - separate with a small dipping plate.




While integrating the cuisines of West Africa and Japan initially posed a challenge, I quickly found a popular Cameroonian dish that would go great with a Japanese sauce! Fufu, a dumpling made from pounded starch such as yam or yuca (cassava), is a staple dish throughout West Africa. In Cameroon, the fufu is called couscous by the French-speaking peoples and typically made from yuca. While the dish is traditionally prepared by pounding the cassava into a paste with a giant mortar and pestle, a food processor can also be used. I'm opting for my immersion blender, which I'll make sure to take whenever I hit up West Africa.
In general, the Cameroonian diet is characterized by bland, starchy foods that are eaten with spicy (often very hot) sauces, so we're pretty sure they would love the addition of wasabi! Throughout Latin America, yucu is served boiled with a spicy garlic sauce or chimichurri, so the addition of wasabi is sure to be delicious!

*Note: Real Wasabi is a rootthat is highly perishable and extremely pricey. If you're lucky, you can find it in powder form at a Japanese grocery for a reasonable price. Most of us will have to settle for the Americanized version, which is essentially just horseradish dyed green. It's still delicious and presents the flavor most of us are familiar with when eating sushi.




Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 8:50pm


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