Nicaraguan Vigorón is the country’s version of a “fast food”. Cassava root (also called Yucca) is boiled tender, then combined with pork rinds that are cooked crunchy. Then it is covered with cabbage slaw that is very spicy. Nicaraguan Vigorón is a whole meal in itself, and is traditionally served on a banana leaf. It is a national dish, often taken for breakfast. Vigorón is also very popular in Costa Rica and Granada. However, Nicaraguan Vigorón is, in my humble but very well experienced opinion, the best.
Nicaraguan Vigorón Recipe-
- 2 lb. fresh cassava root (Yucca)
- 8 oz. fried pork rinds, broken into large bite-sized pieces
- 4 banana leaves, cut into 10″ squares (optional)
- 4 cups Spicy Cabbage Salad (ingredients and recipe below)
- some fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
- some lime wedges, for garnish
For the Spicy Cabbage Salad-
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (Note: for hotter salad, leave seeds in. For less hot, remove seeds)
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
To Make the Cabbage Salad-
- Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, combine and stir together with a whisk the lime juice, oil, salt, and black pepper.
- Drizzle the oil and lime mixture over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to coat evenly. Allow the salad to stand for about half an hour before using.
To Make the Nicaraguan Vigorón-
- Peel the cassava and chop it into large chunks; remove all of the stringy fibers in the center. Place the chunks in a large cooking pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a rolling boil, and cook until the cassava is soft and tender throughout – about 40 to 45 minutes should do it. Drain through a large sieve or colander, and set aside for now.
- Place several chunks of the cooked cassava in the middle of each serving plate, or each banana leaf if you are going the traditional fashion.
- Top the cassava with a generous portion of the pork rinds. Next, layer on a good portion of the spicy cabbage salad. Finally, garnish the top with a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro. Serve your Nicaraguan Vigorón right away with wedges of lime.
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