While a friend and I were shopping, she suddenly had a "craving" for Bánh Khoai Mì Nướng which is a simple and delicious cake made from fresh cassava root. So the very next day, I went and bought 4 bags of grated cassava root. I used 2 bags to make one cake to satisfy her "craving". The other 2 bags I planned to have her take home and try it out on her own. But as soon as the cake hits the table, it was gone. A few other friends were interested in learning how to make it as well so we used the other 2 bags.
Bánh khoai mì nướng has a great aroma filled with sweet and buttery tones from the cassava and coconut mix; it has a chewy consistency and the brown crust is to die for.
Cassava root is very rich in starch. Similar to sweet potatoes, it contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Dietary fiber has been associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, and helping control diabetes. A recent study conducted in the Philippines showed that cassava significantly decreased total cholesterol levels, decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (considered as “bad” cholesterol), and may help lower triglyceride levels due to its high total dietary fiber content. Other studies show that cassava may help support the nervous system and help alleviate stress, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. It's been reported that cassava leaves can be used to treat many ailments such as headaches, fever, diarrhea, and help increase stamina.
After researching the health benefits of cassava, I think it makes me want to feed my family cassava root and sweet potato everyday :-).
Frozen grated cassava is availabe at most Asian supermarkets. If you want to make it right away after you bring it home from the store, just soak the package in water for about 15 minutes and it should be thawed and ready to use. Make sure to place the package in a big ziploc bag before soaking in water. This will prevent water gets inside the cassava bags since most of the frozen cassava bags have tiny holes on them and they're hard to see.
RECIPE: Bánh Khoai Mì Nướng
2 bags frozen grated cassava
1/2 can condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon oil, for greasing the baking pan
Preheat the oven to 375oF. Put oven rack on the 2nd lowest level of oven. Grease a baking pan well. Put it in the oven to keep it hot.
Squeezed out the liquid if any. If using fresh cassava, remove skin and grate it or cut into small thinly pieces then process it in a food processor until fine. Squeeze the juice out of the grated cassava. Discard the juice.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Remove a baking pan from oven and pour the mixture into it. Give it a shake to even the top out.
Put it back into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Turn up the temperature to 400 F and bake for another 5 minutes or until the top turns golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Enjoy a slice of Bánh Khoai Mì Nướng with a cup of your favorite hot tea or coffee!