In the markets of Bangkok I often came across these sticks (or similar sticks); I found these sold along with Thai traditional herbal tea products.

I was later learned that these are Cassava sticks (Tapioca sticks); also named "Cassava stakes".

I thought they should be used to make tea or to distancing/repelling muscitos so I bought a pack; no muscitos were rejected but I tried to bite one stick → both the outer part (Sheath) and inner part (Xylem) and both were bitter.

What are Cassava sticks (Tapioca sticks) used for in Thai cuisine, if at all?

  • 1
    Seems likely they're for some kind of traditonal medicine? You wouldn't eat them, they're poisonous.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 2, 2020 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


Those seem to be Cassava stem cuttings. They're not meant to be eaten, but are instead meant to propagate new plants. Cassava are able to grow in poor quality soil and can survive harsh dry seasons. They also do well in areas that do not have good irrigation. This makes them popular in Thailand, especially in poorer areas.

Note that Cassava is not considered a staple food in Thailand. You will see a few uses for it in Thai Cuisine, such as Sweetened Cassava, but more importantly Thais consider it a good cash crop to export. Cassava require minimal care and cost and can be used for many purposes, such as:

  • Chips/Pellets to be used for animal feed
  • Flour for confectionery
  • Starch for infant food
  • Starch to be used in textile industries
  • Ethanol
  • Hi ; I really like your answer --- I think edit the ul list and declare that the sticks themselves are not edible is good.
    – user79730
    Jan 3, 2020 at 11:52

In Bali, I used to store stems from my cassava plants for up to six months before replanting. Possibly this is what the sticks were purchased in the market. Cassava leaves make a pleasant, slightly bitter vegetable. Some are too bitter to eat. People here consider these bitter leaves to be slightly poisonous. Bitter leaves mean the large root will be too bitter to eat.

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