How to Make Fufu

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If you’ve had a spicy stew or soup, you are going to want something to soak up all those tasty juices, right? Well, today, we’ve got something a little different for you. If you’ve never had Fufu before, you are in for a bit of a treat. This dish is a blend of Caribbean, African and is really tasty. It is easy to prepare. Today we are going to show you how to make Fufu.

fufu

What is Fufu?

Fufu is a sort of firm and thick dough made from ground starches. Unlike bread, it isn’t made with flour. Instead, the starch comes from pounded roots such as yams, plantain, malanga, or cassava. 

“Fufu” is a word that originates from the Western side of Africa. The most literal translation means ‘mix’ or perhaps ‘mash’. Once you start making the dough, you’ll see why.

It is served in balls. Imagine a cross between dumplings, mashed potatoes, and dough balls, and you’ll have a good idea as to what it is all about.

How to Make Fufu

Fufu is pretty easy to make. 

We start by boiling the source of our starch. In this case, yams. Once they are peeled and cubed, we add them to boiling water until they turn soft. You can use any starch to make them. Cassava is a great alternative if you can’t find any yams.

From there, we allow the softened yam cubes to cool down and then add them to a bowl with a little seasoning and a splash of oil. We then mash the yams until they are coarse in texture.

But we don’t stop there.

We want to make our Fufu dough as fine as possible, so we add it to a blender until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (but not a puree). We then tip this mix back into a bowl and stir it constantly until the starches start to release and it turns into a smooth dough. 

From there, it is simply a case of rolling the Fufu into balls and serving.

How do You Eat Fufu?

Enthusiastically! 

No, joking aside, Fufu isn’t really a dish that you’ll want to serve on its own. We normally like to serve a few Fufu balls alongside rich and saucy dishes such as Caribbean curries, stews, or soups. If they are African in origin, even better.

How to Make Fufu (African Fufu Recipe)

4 from 3 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: SidesCuisine: AfricanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

200

kcal

This fufu recipe is so easy to make from scratch. Bring a new recipe into your kitchen right from Africa with this African Fufu.

Ingredients

  • A source of starch… 2 lbs. of Yams

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • A pinch of ground black pepper

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, peel the tough outer skin off the yams. Once it is peeled, slice it into inch thick discs. Quarter these discs and place them in a large pan of water.
  • Place the pan over high heat until it begins to bubble and boil vigorously. You will need to boil the yams for 20-25 minutes. You can test whether they are cooked by pricking them with a sharp knife. When they are fully softened, there will be no resistance.
  • Tip your yams into a colander and allow to drain and steam cool. Wait until they are completely cold.
  • Take a clean bowl and roughly mash your cooked yam cubes with a potato masher. Once they are broken down, tip them into a blender and pulse until you have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs.
  • tip your mix into a bowl and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns smooth and then stiffens.
  • Take small handfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls. Serve alongside your favorite Caribbean soup or stew.

Notes

  • When it comes to knowing how to make Fufu, you can’t really take shortcuts. When blending your Fufu, you don’t want to create a puree as this will ruin the texture. Instead, make sure that you are left with fineish particles that look like breadcrumbs. 

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What Does Fufu Taste Like?

Fufu isn’t jam-packed full of flavor. It has a mild taste that is similar to mashed potato. How your Fufu tastes can depend slightly on the source of starch used to create it. Yam Fufu tastes a little different from that made from cassava.

The beauty of Fufu is that because it is mild, it goes with just about any dish and is just perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce. 

Tips and Tricks

  • The key to making Fufu is in the late stages. This is hard work but well worth it. Keep stirring your fufu mix until it releases starch and becomes smooth.
  • A good way to tell that your fufu dough is headed in the right direction is when it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. If this happens, you are almost there.
  • Fufu is mild in flavor. And you might want to give it a little helping hand. Make sure to include the seasoning; otherwise, it can taste a little bland.
  • Another great tip when making Fufu is to make sure that you allow your cubes of yam to cool fully before mashing. While they are still hot, gluten is more pliable. This means that they won’t stick together as well as if you left them until they are cold. 
  • When peeling yams be very careful. They are easy to hold; however, they do get quite slippery when they are peeled. If you are struggling, hold the yam in a kitchen cloth or use disposable paper towels. 
  • We use olive oil in our recipe; however, this can be substituted for any type of oil. We find that coconut oil, in particular, gives your Fufu a really great taste and texture. 
  • The best place to pick up both yams and cassava is in an African or Caribbean supermarket. You’ll often find them at wholefoods too!

How To Store Fufu

You can make Fufu ahead of time. Once you’ve rolled it into balls, wrap them individually in film before storing them in the fridge. Fufu keeps for up to 5 days. 

Conclusion

Essentially Fufu is similar to a thick mash potato (but with yams) rolled into balls. It is slightly firm and has a mild taste, making it great for stews. Now that you know how to make Fufu, what are you going to pair it with? Let us know in the comments. We love new ideas.

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