Can eating a root take you back to your roots? Find out with these two delicious manioc recipes from Brazilian chef Teresa Corção of the restaurant O Navegador.
Manioc—otherwise known as yucca, cassava, mogo or tapioca—is a root that hails from Brazil. It’s now found all over the world — it’s the staple food for an estimated 500 million people, according to the United Nations. There are more than 1,800 varieties.
Yet as an ingredient, manioc was barely on the radar for Brazilian chef Teresa Corção of the restaurant O Navegador. Until she realized that this humble root can be used in many different ways. On the TEDGlobal 2014 stage today, she shared the moment that she discovered for herself just how delicious manioc can be.
“It’s one of the most ancient foods of my country,” she says. “Small farming is an endangered activity all over the world. All of us can change the reality by eating products from small farmers and looking for our treasures. We all have [ancient foods] that are endangered and can vanish.”
While Corção spoke on the TEDGlobal stage, assistant chef Diogo Antunes prepared a dish on stage for the audience to sample. Below, this recipe — as well as a second manioc-based treat for you to make at home.
O Navegador vegetarian trooper’s beans (aka Tropeiro vegetariano)
100g farinha d’agua (thick manioc flour from the north of Brazil)
100g beans (cooked)
80g tucupi (a yellow sauce extracted from manioc root)
20g coconut milk
80g carrots (diced and boiled)
70g chopped vegetables (we generally use a mix of broccoli, coriander and carrot leaves, but it depends on what we have in the restaurant on that day)
Salt, as needed
Step 1: Hydrate the farinha d’água with the tucupi and coconut milk, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Heat the butter in a sauté pan, and add the onions and garlic. Cook until softened.
Step 3: Add the vegetables, stir until cooked.
Step 4: Take the pan off the flame, add the hydrated flour and mix until all the ingredients are hot.
Step 5: Add salt, if necessary. And serve!
O Navegador crab with mashed manioc
1kg crab meat
400g manioc (boiled, with center fibers removed)
300g pomodori pelati (peeled tomatoes)
30ml olive oil
20ml coconut milk
60ml tomato sauce
12g spring onions (scallions)
5g urucum (known outside of Brazil as achiote or annatto, this comes from a tree in the Amazon)
10 green olives
A chili pepper
Salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed
Step 1: Mash the cooked manioc while still hot with the butter and the coconut milk.
Step 2: Add 2g of the spring onions, and some salt and pepper.
Step 3: Mold this dough into a tortilla, and brown on both sides on a frying pan.
Step 4: Wash the crab meat in lime juice.
Step 5: In a frying pan, cook the onion, garlic and pepper in olive oil until golden.
Step 6: Add the crab meat, the pomodori pelati, the tomato sauce and the urucum.
Step 7: Adjust seasoning. Finish with the green olives and the fresh herbs. And serve!
Featured image via iStock.