This recipe is involved and challenging; nonetheless, it is one of my favorite to make. Mashed cassava root forms a sort of dough, and spicy peanut filling brings crunch and spice with a hint of sweetness. It is best served wrapped in crisp lettuce leaf with herbs and even a squeeze of lime juice or sliced pepper for extra spice.
Sakhoo(ສະຄູ), also romanized sakoo, saku, or sakhu, refers to the starchy cassava root acting as the doughy main ingredient. This sakhoo has a filling, or yad(ຍັດ).
Traditionally, sakhoo is made from powdered starch and has pork filling. This variation uses fresh cassava with crushed peanut filling. Thoa din(ຖົ່ວດິນ) means peanut.
Shaping the balls can be difficult. To start, make sure the cassava is mashed smoothly and prepare the filling. A bowl of water for wetting hands is also useful.
With wet hands, shape a piece of mashed cassava into a bowl shape.
Add some filling and mold the cassava around, adding more if needed. Carefully pack into a ball shape.
When the balls are all formed, they are ready for steaming! You can use a bamboo steamer or another steamer; just make sure to line the steamer baskets with banana leaf or another material to keep the steamer clean.
Steam the cassava balls about ten minutes. Once they are steamed, they should have expanded slightly. Let cool.
The finished cassava balls may be fragile, so be careful transfering them to lettuce leaves or a plate or another surface for serving. They can always be served in the steamer basket too. Garnish with plenty of herbs as well as chilies and peanut to taste.
1 cassava root, peeled and sliced
2 clove garlic
20 black peppercorn
1 tsp salt
1 bunch coriander stem
¼ piece palm sugar
1 cup peanut, roasted
½ head lettuce leaf
1 tbsp peanut, roasted and crushed
4 stem coriander leaf
2 stem mint leaf or other herb
4 bird’s eye chili, chopped
1 lime (optional)
• boil cassava root 30 minutes
• drain most of liquid
• pound garlic, black peppercorn, salt, coriander stem, shallot, palm sugar, peanut
• shape cassava and fill with peanut mixture to form into balls
• steam 10 minutes
• place in lettuce leaf
• garnish with crushed peanut, coriander leaf, mint, chili