FRY: 10 minutes
Yuca is an excellent replacement for white potatoes and makes wonderful French fries. You can make yuca frita from either fresh yuca root or frozen chunks but it’s a bit easier to work with the fresh root. The trick to yuca fries that are perfectly crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside is to cut them to the right thickness and not boil them too long before frying. Enjoy these alone or dipped in Garlic Cilantro Mayonnaise or Pink Sauce.
MAKES 2 TO 4 SERVINGS.
1-2 pounds fresh or frozen yuca
About ¼ cup high-temperature fat for frying (avocado oil or lard recommended)
Fine Himalayan salt
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish, optional
1. If you’re using fresh yuca, remove the peel with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. (Remove all the pink/purple layer beneath the tough outer peel.) Cut the root crosswise into lengths of about 3 inches. Cut each in half lengthwise and cut out the woody stem in the center of the root. Cut each piece into sticks about ¾-inch thick. Inspect the flesh to ensure it’s pure white with no soft spots, discolorations or black speckles. Discard any such areas. If you’re using frozen yuca, add the pieces to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; then lower heat to a simmer and cook several minutes until thawed enough to cut. Drain and cut as described for fresh yuca.
2. Place yuca sticks in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; then lower heat to a low boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes. They should be tender when pierced with a fork but not falling apart. Drain the water and either fry the yuca sticks immediately or store them, covered, in the refrigerator to fry later (up to 1 day).
3. In a small to medium skillet, heat fat over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes. Add yuca sticks and fry 2 to 3 minutes per side or until they’re lightly golden brown and crisp on the outside. Use additional fat, as needed.
4. Sprinkle with salt, to taste, and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Each serving contains 210 calories, 4g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 206mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugars, 2g protein, 22Est GL.
Reprinted with permission from Latin American Paleo Cooking by Amanda Torres, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. Photography by Toni Zernik.Yields 4 servings