Yuca is super versatile and satisfies those fierce carb cravings. Once it’s boiled and softened, you can prepare it as you would any potato side or dish. Have it mashed, baked, or browned to a crisp as in these home fries.
standard chef’s knife (yuca is a heavy-duty root; buy a sturdy knife if you don’t already own one)
medium to large pot or wok
2 yuca (cassava) roots
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup neutral cooking oil (I used canola oil)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Artist: Rhythms Del Mundo
Album: Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba
1. With a sharp knife, cut off the ends of each root. Cut each root in half, crosswise.
2. Shave away the tough brown and purple skin until the root is completely white.
3. Look for dark streaks running through the white flesh and cut them out with your knife. Good thing you bought extra yuca!
4. Now cut the yuca into 1-inch rounds.
5. Cut each round in half and remove the (not so tasty) fibrous vein by making a v-shaped incision.
6. Cut into smaller, bite-sized.
1. Transfer the yuca pieces into a medium to large pot. Fill with 5 cups water and set on the stove. Bring to medium-high heat.
2. Once boiling, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and cover until yuca is pale yellow and mushy, about 30 – 40 minutes. The wait is long but worth your while.
3. Stir every 10 minutes so the yuca pieces don’t stick and burn at the bottom.
IN THE MEANTIME
3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to small skillet over medium heat. Swirl around to coat the pan.
4. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly browned, 8 minutes.
5. Stir in the minced garlic and let sweat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Remove yuca from the pot and drain on paper towels.
7. Let the yuca cool, then thoroughly pat it dry—soggy yuca won’t cook well.
1. Over medium-high heat, add 1/2 cup neutral oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Swirl it around to coat the pan. If you own a wok, use it to avoid splattering.
2. Set some paper towels on a nearby plate.
3. Add the yuca pieces one by one into the pan, distributing them in one layer. You may have to work in batches; if the pieces are too crowded, they won’t fry evenly. Add more oil and butter as needed.
4. Stir the pieces until they look crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes.
5. As the pieces are done, remove and place the fried yuca on paper towels to drain away excess oil.
6. Add onion-garlic mixture to the yuca and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
1. Try these healthy home fries with sour cream, chopped cilantro, or this Sriracha-Lime Ketchup from Serious Eats.
2. Serve them with fish, burgers, or scrambled eggs.
Recipe adapted from: