Yuca Fries

Friday, February 28, 2014

If your anything like me then the term Yuca is pretty much a foreign one.  I guess you could say I've lived a sheltered life when it comes to food but then again I was very picky when I was younger and just plain old fearful of trying foods outside of my comfort zone.  The first time we went out grocery shopping with this on our list I was in the little veggie section that has "unique" foods in it.  We had no idea what we were looking for!  So, out came the phones and google to find it out. Turns out that yuca is also known by another moniker, cassava.

I love three things most about yuca.  First it lead us to what seems like a little family owned Indian grocery store. Most people don't think twice about going into these little grocery stores but they are amazing!  Their stuff is cheap, it's usually of good quality, it's fresh, and it comes in bulk!  The second thing is that you can have a unique style of fries instead of regular white or sweet potato fries and the last thing… Is I swear to me they taste like full blown cheddar gluten filled biscuits!  (But maybe I'm just crazy!)

Note: yuca can be considered toxic if eaten raw or prepared improperly, but after normal cooking it should be completely fine.  To read more about this check out this link here.  Please don't let this scare you away because you will miss out on some wonderful tasting food!  Just make sure you don't drop a raw piece on the ground and let your dog eat it ;).

  • 2 yuca/cassava roots (6"-8" long, medium thickness)
  • 4 tbsp duck fat (or tallow or lard or last resort extra virgin olive oil)
  • salt
  • pepper (optional)
  • paprika (optional)

  1. Peel the waxy tree bark-like skin off of the yuca using a sharp peeler or knife.  (Whichever you find easiest.)
  2. Cut the yuca so it's about 3" long and no less than 1/2" thick otherwise it won't turn out well.  I like mine to be about 1" thick.
  3. Boil the fries until they are soft but not falling apart.  I like to boil mine for pretty much exactly 30 minutes and they are almost to the falling apart brink but not quite.  If you cut them smaller you can boil them for as little at 12 minutes.
  4. During this time preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Drain the fries when they are soft and spread on a baking sheet so that they are not overlapping.
  6. Take the duck fat (or other fat) and melt (if needed) then drizzle over all the fries.
  7. Season with salt for sure and then whatever else you would like to use.  I use salt and a nice spanish paprika and it tastes sooo good!
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes then flip the fries and bake for around another 10 minutes.
  9. Note: sometimes yuca can have a stringy middle.  If you encounter this just eat around it in the fries instead of trying to cut it out beforehand.  I encountered a little stringiness but I just pulled the few strands out after the boiling stage.
  10. Enjoy!

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