Steamed cassava

In Saigon, summer time comes when it rains continually in the afternoon and stops in the morning. Rain makes people who love the street lazy to go out. Rain pulls people preferring eating at night to spacious restaurants.

Rain prevents vendors from looking for more customers… In that humidity, to me, it would be a nice surprise when receiving a bag of hot steamed cassavas from some friend. Although the dish is not costly at all, it is still so delicious that you would want to finish all just in a moment.  

Crunchy and starch cassavas 
Steamed or boiled cassava is not unfamiliar with most people. In the subsidy period, cassava was used to be an indispensable food in everyday meal of poor families.

These days, when the economy of Vietnam has been better, it becomes a kind of snack in free time. Especially, only with this kind of enjoyment, that is, dipping cassavas with planed copra into sesame salt do we recognize how attractive cassavas are.

Some people like crunchy cassavas, which still remain their original shapes after being steamed or boiled because they are both pliable and crunchy. Some like starch cassavas, whose starch expanse after being steamed, which makes their tips unfolded like a funnel.

If you are afraid of the heat when eating this kind of cassava, just hold the fiber because all the parts of hot steamed starch cassava are stick together so that they cannot fall apart.

When steaming cassavas, people do not put the lid on the pot. Maybe you should think that it would be too hot to eat when you see the smoke rising up, but actually, within just three minutes after taking them out of the pot, we can eat the cassava, of course still have to blow to cool them down.

Cassavas with sesame salt
Steamed cassavas can be used with sesame salt and dry planed copra, although some people just like to eat steamed cassavas with sesame salt only. Vendors usually put steamed cassavas into a nylon bag along with a little pack of sesame salt or they can sprinkle coconut rice and sesame salt on cassavas.

It is not too hard to make sesame salt, but we should consider how to mix salt, sugar and sesame so that the mixture is not too salty or too sweet. Dry copra can be planed into threads in order that they can easily stick to every cassava.

Holding a bag of steamed cassavas with planed copra and sesame salt, using two fingers to put the cassavas into your mouth, then your tongue to clean the sesame salt remaining on your fingers, you would feel how delicious cassavas can be!

Some vendors can use roasted peanut instead of roasted sesame but still mix it with salt and sugar because they play an important role in steamed cassava dish.

Steamed cassava is said to be difficult to digest, fast full but quickly hungry. It reminds people of long and hard period in the past. Today, it is easy to find steamed cassava vendors, which mainly to satisfy the eating habit of pedestrians, on the crowded streets in the afternoon or on the street corners near the shopping centers in Saigon.

Steamed cassava never chooses customers. We can ask the vendors to serve this dish whatever way we like. Eating cassava by using fingers is recommended.

It is interesting to sit on the back of a friend’s bike on a rainy day or shelter from the rain in a veranda while holding a bag of hot steamed cassavas. We can hear the continual sound of the rain while enjoying the cassavas. And the story keeps going on until the bag is empty. - Translated by Vu Minh

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