Mashua: Mystery or Magic?

We may want to mentally categorize mashua with oca—they’re similarly exotic, both tubers native to the Andes, and novel to us in the US—but while oca can be used as a potato substitute, adding unique flavors to some of our most beloved potato dishes, mashua may leave you stumped and grimacing if you try to treat it the same.

If you’ve tried mashua raw, you may not be surprised to hear that it’s actually in the same family as the nasturtium plant. Nastirtium leaves and flowers carry that same deep, peppery spice that you’ll taste in mashua, making both great accompaniments for meats and sweets alike.  For this reason, we typically use mashua in sauces or as a raw wasabi-like garnish. If you plan to cook mashua, try balancing its bitter flavor with a punchy aioli, like the one below.