Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cooking oca

Yeah, I know, you are probably getting sick of oca posts - but they are all harvested now so you will not be getting any more till planting in spring, lol.

Today I am going over cooking oca as there are not many recipes for them on the net. Most recipes call for them to be cooked like potatoes, which is mostly correct but there are much more to oca.

Sure oca can be cooked like potato. They can be baked, boiled, fried and added to casseroles but my favourite method is microwaving which cooks them so much quicker than baking with the same outcome in taste.

The thing that oca has over potatoes is that if you let them dehydrate for a few weeks they sweeten so much that they (well nearly all the varieties you will come across) can be eaten raw like fruit. Of course, you don't have to leave them that long to eat them raw, only a week or two out of the ground and they are sweet enough to chop raw into salads. If you eat them straight out of the ground they will have a lemony tang about them which lessens and often goes completely the longer in storage.

Hot and cold oca salad

 Wash the oca tubers (give a scrub with a nail brush if they have dirt stuck on them) and place in a bowl.
Mix 1kg of tubers with two tablespoons each of honey, chopped onion and bacon pieces. If you don't use bacon add a pinch of salt.

Drizzle with oil and roast at 180c for 45 mins to an hour (10 minutes or less in a microwave), until the tubers are soft.
When oca is fully cooked it startes to break down and go soft all the way through.

Unfortunately oca loses its colour any way it is cooked.

The tubers now can be added hot to other salad ingredients (or just eat them hot as they are), like shredded lettuce and tomato for a warm salad.

Or let them go cold and chop and make into a cold salad with lettuce, tomato and avocado.

One other thing - oca leaves and chopped stems taste lemony and can be added to salads raw, and some people even cook the juicy stems into tarts as a rhubarb alternative.

Hmmm, I have just decided to think of a couple more recipes to use up some of the left over smaller than eating size tubers that are always in the way. I think you will have to put up with a couple more oca, and maybe yacon recipes in the next few weeks.

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