A Filipino delicacy made from cooked cassava, butter, and sugar or sweetened condensed milk. The mixture is then mashed or pounded, hence the name Nilupak which is Tagalog for 'pounded'.
What is Nilupak?
Nilupak is a Tagalog word that means mashed or pounded. That is where the name of this Filipino delicacy was derived as this is the process involved in preparing it.
Different starchy fruits or roots can be used to make Nilupak. The most popularly used is the cassava and saba bananas when they are not yet ripe. Sweet potato and ube are also sometimes used.
How to make Nilupak?
The traditional way of making Nilupak involves using a big wooden mortar and pestle. It is used to pound the boiled cassava. Like making Ube Halaya, which is actually a variant of Nilupak, it requires a little muscle work to make.
These days there are more convenient ways to make Nilupak. Others even use grated cassava that is easily bought in groceries or supermarkets. Or you can use a grinder to grind the cooked cassava for a finer and smoother texture.
Here are the usual steps involved in making Nilupak :
- Steam or boil peeled and cut cassava until cooked.
- Mash it into a fine texture using a potato masher or mortar and pestle.
- Add the condensed milk or sugar and softened margarine. Mash again until well blended.
- Mold the Nilupak however you like to serve them.
- Top with margarine, more grated coconut or cheese.
Ingredients for Nilupak
For Nilupak na cassava, the main ingredient is, obviously the cassava. Use fresh ones if you want to go the traditional route. Some recipes also call for the use of coconut milk in combination with sugar. But condensed milk will also work great. Lastly, is the margarine. You may also use butter, however, margarine is what is normally used in the Philippines.
For this Nilupak na Cassava recipe you will need:
- sweetened condensed milk
- margarine or butter
- grated coconut
Adding grated coconut to the Nilupak itself is optional. But I like the added flavor it gives to this simple snack. Margarine is also smeared on top of each serving. To make it extra special, top it with more grated coconut or cheese. Well, why not both...
Nilupak na Cassava
- 2 pounds cassava roots
- 1 cup condensed milk
- ½ stick margarine - softened
- sugar - as needed
- 1 cup grated coconut - (optional)
- grated cheese - for toppings (optional)
- Cut both ends and then cut the whole cassava root into 3-inch long pieces. Cut along the length of a piece and slid the knife in between the skin and flesh to create an opening. Peel of the skin of the cassava using hands or knife. Cut into half lengthwise Remove the woody core. Then cut into cubes. Rinse with running water thoroughly.
- Place the cassava in a steamer and steam about for 20 minutes. (See NOTE 1 for boiling).
- Transfer cassava pieces in a large bowl or a flat dish. Mash it into a fine texture using a potato masher. Do it one piece a time so it is easier. (See NOTE 2)
- Add the condensed milk and softened margarine. Add the grated coconut. Add additional sugar if you find the need. Mash again until well blended.
- Grease a pan or dish with margarine. Scoop the mashed cassava and press it evenly using a spatula or fork.
- Cut into 9 pieces and serve as is or top with more grated coconut or cheese.