This Yuca Fries Recipe will show you how you can take your fresh or leftover yuca and transform it into something crispy and absolutely delicious.
Yuca, is the root of the cassava plant, It is a very starchy root vegetable. You will find it used in a lot of Hispanic and Caribbean cooking (Vigoron* is one of our favorite ways to make simply boiled yuca into a fantastic dish).
Yuca is a light white or cream color, and has a grainy texture similar to potatoes. It is so meaty, and you can best describe the taste as being sweet and somewhat nutty. Yuca is high in carbs, but low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It can be a good source of manganese and vitamin C.
One of the best thing about Yuca, is that you can turn it into Yuca Fries. Yuca Fries take everything we love about Yuca, the creaminess and sweetness and elevate it with a nice crisp crunch. We like dunking our yuca fries in our Avocado Crema or Mojo Criollo.
How Do You Make Yuca Fries
The first thing you do, is boil the Yuca. The yuca must be cooked until almost completely tender before we do anything else.
The truth is, Yuca fries are usually the happy aftermath of making too much yuca (usually on Noche Buena). It’s a recipe meant to repurpose boiled yuca into something different. Something better.
It is definitely a great midday snack or side dish at the dinner table the week after Christmas. All the leftover yuca from Noche Buena is refrigerated and then turned to fries.
After years of so many yuca leftovers you would think that grandmothers and my mothers everywhere would learn to make less Yuca. But it is part of the fun.
“We looked forward to the leftovers almost as much as noche Buena dinner”.Ani
Then once you have your boiled yuca, the next step simply is to just fry them. There are no secrets or extra ingredients. The yuca does not need to be battered or dipped in anything special. The yuca just fries up perfectly maintaining it’s creamy sweetness.
Some Tips Before You Make Yuca Fries
- If you are using frozen yuca, place them in the water as they are. You do not need to defrost them or cut them.
- If you are using fresh yuca, start by peeling the thick skin. It’s best to use a peeler because a knife would cut too deep into the yuca. Once it is peeled run it under water and dry it off. Be sure there are no dark brown spots or hairs from the exterior.
- Important tip: You don’t want to cut the yuca into the fry shape before boiling. If you do, too much water will get inside of them. They should look like a large fat potato wedge.
- Pair Our Yuca Fries with our Bistec de Palomilla, Confetti Fish or any time you would serve a potato French fries.
Yuca FriesCourse: SidesCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy
1.5-2 pounds of yuca/ casava root (fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon of salt
Oil for frying (we like using avocado or peanut oil)
- *See our tips for Frozen vs Fresh Yuca. Slice the yuca into large equal parts. Each piece should be about 3 inches long. Then cut again in half lengthwise. Remember, You don’t want to cut the yuca into the fry shape from this point or too much water will get inside of them. They should look like a large fat potato wedge.
- Place the yuca in a large pot. Cover the yuca with water, and dd salt and a bay leaf. Set heat to high, and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling lower the heat to medium low so there is a constant gentle boil. Cook for 40-50 minutes. It is ready once the yuca has softened but isn’t falling apart. A fork should easily penetrate the yuca.
- Drain the yuca with a colander. Place the pieces on a cutting board or sheet pan and allow them to dry out for 5-10 minutes. Once dry, slice them into the shape of your fries. While the yuca is drying, start setting up your area for frying.
- Add about 2 inches of the oil in a pan. Heat to medium high. Set up a sheet pan with a fitted rack or a plate lined with paper towel where you will place the yuca once it’s cooked.
- Once the oil is hot, add the yuca. Cook in batches. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan when you are frying or you run the risk of the yuca absorbing the oil instead of browning in it.
- Once you start to see the yuca turn golden brown on one side, flip it over and brown the other side.
Remove the yuca and place it onto the rack. Immediately season with some salt.