Two Ways to Cook Malanga

I may have cried myself to sleep for several nights over my purple-less tubers, but I am back and ready to devour some potato cousins.

Now, when I bought these things, I felt so confident that I could just type in “malanga recipes” and I would struggle to pick one because there would be so many to choose from. I will admit that there were indeed several to choose from but I’m going to get real with you here and tell you that most people either fry them, mash them or roast them. I was expecting some grandiose recipe that has been passed down for generations because this is such a hardy vegetable, but nope. You got the above three and maybe one or two unique ones that require at least five trips to different stores to gather all you need.

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I am still uncertain if these are malanga or not, but I have stayed up late to dry my eyes poring over Wikipedia, food blogs and unfortunately Yahoo Answer boards to come to the conclusion that these are malanga.

When I was researching taro root, there were warning signs to make sure you cook them thoroughly and be careful when handling the skin and hairs because they can be irritants to your throat or skin. I decided to take the same precautions with malanga just in case. I wasn’t exactly super careful when peeling and chopping them though since my whole plan was to wear gloves, but I just didn’t feel like buying a box.

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When I was chopping them though, they felt super slimy which was a weird sensation since they look identical to just a russet potato when peeled. If you are handling slimy potatoes you should probably not eat them though. Handling the slimy stuff has not been my favorite in all honesty, these weren’t as bad as handling the nopales, but still super slimy. To paraphrase Jesco White, “I’m tired of chopping sloppy, slimy potatoes.” (I hope at least one of you will get that please).

Anyway, I made some pretty easy stuff with these because just like a potato, they can literally be used in almost anything. (I once had potatoes on a hot dog and it was pretty delicious).

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First up is the basic ‘ole mashed malanga which is the best way to introduce a starchy vegetable because you can literally make a mash of anything. I didn’t want every post on here to be mashed up so I’ve been really trying to restrain myself with any kind of mashed option.

That, and I actually don’t own a potato masher.

Can I start a GoFundMe for one? I could really use it.

Anyway, so if you have never mashed up some potatoes/malangas/whatever you follow three basic steps. Chop the veggie into chunks. Boil veggies until soft. Mash veggies.

For a long time, because I am a cheap person, I would just mash potatoes (with a fork because I’m a beast and again, no masher) with salt and pepper and call it a night. I like some chunks in my mash anyway, but to really amp things up it is best to add in a little bit of milk and butter.

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On this day, I forgot to purchase some milk but I had several cans of coconut milk so I decided to combine the two with a little bit of butter. Ever since I did the Whole30, I’ve kept coconut milk around because I adore the cream on the top of the liquid. Anytime I can get an excuse to swap something for coconut milk I will.

However, I think I may have been too hasty with the switch this time because apparently malanga doesn’t really have much of a flavor. It’s like a potato, but I could definitely mostly taste the coconut. It needed some sort of spice and I had a pretty great realization and sprinkled curry powder on the top of it.

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I took a bite and it was delicious. After I took pictures I mixed the two up and enjoyed this odd bowl of mashed malanga that I think you should try out as well. Add your own things to it, but I think I’m going to stick to coconut milk and curry powder. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Now, I do most of my recipe looking on Pinterest because I’m actually still in love with Pinterest even though everyone else seemed to have left. When I peruse their boards looking for malanga inspiration I found that plenty of them sliced theirs up into chip form and well, this is really just a weird potato week so why not?

So for some reason the past few times we have been to the store my snack of choice has been pretzels. This is an odd thing because I always buy a bag of pretzels thinking I’m going to eat them, but then I don’t. The next time we go to the store I feel like pretzels, buy another bag, then never eat them. Repeat cycle. I was just thinking today how it would be nice to just have some kind of potato chip.

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Every now and then I just crave plain potato chips. No waves on them, special limited time flavors or even corn chips. I just want a plain potato chip and maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I am in control of my life. But I wasn’t going to be satisfied with those little greasy discs today. Nope. I wanted a potato wedge and a potato chip to have a child together so I played matchmaker and cut thicker slices of the malanga and roasted them in oil until they got nice and crispy.

Y’all.

Yes. Yes please and thank you.

If you look close enough as well, you can see little bitty specks that I know aren’t purple but I am going to sleep pretending that maybe they are purple under a microscope or something like that.

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The chips were super tasty though and I highly recommend cooking malanga this way, and I’m even debating making these a routine snack. Just don’t tell the seven bags of pretzels on top of my fridge.

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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