Cerdo con Yuca

I was told this is a traditional Nicaraguan recipe. Being a vegetarian, I needed to make a bit of modification to the tradition. This is mostly about the modification.

Cerdo de Soya

I have never had real Cerdo con Yuca but I guessed that a sausage flavor would make sense. That would then be added to the right kind of TSP and you have "cerdo".

While most any TSP would work (and there is some very inexpensive stuff available locally), Bioland in Costa Rica produces one that is in big chunks. When soaked in water it ends up with the consistency of a piece of, well, chicken. That is what I decided to use.

The "flavor" comes from adding soy sauce, sage (thanks Arturo), fennel, and mustard seed to hot water and soaking the TSP for about 30 minutes. Then, to cook it, I added finely chopped garlic, onion and anaheim pepper (thanks Billy Bob) to a hot frying pan with a bit of olive oil. When the onion started to brown I added the TSP and stirred it for a few minutes.

To make the left over liquid into "gravy", I added a bit of cornstarch and some more cold water. I then added that to the frying pan and stirred until the gravy thickened.

Putting it Together

Well, I didn't but Ana did. Rather than just yuca the starch was a combination of yuca and green bananas boiled until soft. Once cooked and drained, that was placed on the middle of the plate. The "cerdo" was spread over it and then everything was covered with a bit of shreaded cabbage and tomato slices.

The test was Ana's friend Patricia. Ana said, "¿Patricia, quiere cerdo?" She tasted what I had and asked for a plate of it. She made two comments: "This is really good." and "Phil is eating cerdo"? Margarita also liked it as did Carlos.

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Cerdo con Yuva

Looks great fyl !!!!!!!!!!


Chancho con Yuca

Surprised you don't use the more "Nicaraguan" term "Chancho" con Yuca.

"Cerdo" ("pork") is correct and more universally understood but nicaraguans tend to use "chancho" which is kind of more akin to ("pig").

Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican) tend to use "puerco" which is the same as "cerdo" or "chancho", just a regional difference.

English: "pork", spanish (one version): "puerco", italian: "porco", Portuguese:"porco"...see the connection?


When I was in Masaya in 2006 there were at least two different places offering this basic meal using some sort of fried root (not the yucca done 2 ways, but also with some other root) in the place of the meat. It was the first time I had ever seen it made without meat. I am not sure if it was done due to a lack of meat or out of preference, but since they also offered it with pork, too, I assume the latter. In the Masaya tourist market there were at that time women selling real "yucca con chicharron" - which, I was told, was prepared with a locally made pork rind (often called pork scratchings, pork skins, etc.). This is a very popular dish in Honduras and Guatemala, too. Some Hondurans restaurants actually use the yucca / chicharron monikers right in the name of the establishment.