Yuca (Cassava) Fries

Yuca (cassava) is a starchy, tuberous root that originated in South America, most likely Brazil, and has probably been cultivated for 12,000 years. Today, Africa consumes the most yuca, with Nigeria being the world’s largest producer of the root. When dried, it becomes tapioca. Quite a handy root, eh?

The easiest (and possibly tastiest) way to prepare a yuca root is dead simple: all it takes is a quick boil and a little time with some quality coconut oil.

You’ll Need:
1 yuca/cassava
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

According to the great and all-knowing internet, when selecting a yuca/cassava you should choose firm tubers with no blemishes and a clean fresh scent. Personally, I just grabbed one that looked nice.

Peel and slice the yuca up into large slices, discarding any soft spots. Place in a pot and fill it with cold water.

Bring the pot to a boil and gently boil for about ten minutes, until the fries are easily pierced with a fork. Be careful not to boil them too long; they start to take on a gelatin-like gooeyness if overcooked.

Let the yuca drain for a few minutes while you warm up the oil in a pan on med/high heat.

I had heard great things about Kelapo’s coconut oil, and they were gracious enough to send me some product to try for myself. This oil had a very mild, light taste and excellent aroma that perfectly complemented the yuca fries and gave them an extra hint of tropical flavor.

Kelapo was also nice enough to give me a coupon code to share with you, my dear readers, so you can try their stuff out yourself! Just use the code “DomesticMan20” during checkout to get 20% off your order, from now until August 24th, 2012. Pretty awesome, huh? Okay, back to the recipe.

Pan-fry the yuca, rotating the fries every few minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Should take about 10 minutes altogether.

Place the fries on some paper towels, and sprinkle with a little salt.

That’s it! These mild-tasting fries are best with a strong, full-flavored dip, but they’re pretty dang good on their own as well.

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32 thoughts on “Yuca (Cassava) Fries

  1. The Cuban way to season slow-cooked yuca is with lots of butter, lemon juice, fresh chopped onion, and salt. A dip or drizzle using the same would be yummy.


  2. In Vancouver, I had some Cassava Fries with masala spice and a Date Tamarind Chutney. Let me say, they were awesome! Now I can make the fries at home, all I have to figure out is the chutney!


  3. i’m inspired to make curry fries with these. I recently ordered curry fries with some friend’s visiting from Canada while in an Irish Pub. This sounds round-about, but they were really delicious. I have a feeling these fries would pair well with the curry sauce…YUMM


      1. Growing up on a Salvadorian diet, I love Yucca, my family cooks them in a similar way but once it’s done we serve it with chicharrones (Fried Pork Rinds) and a latin coleslaw off onion, tomato, lettuce, lemon and other stuff which i can’t believe I’m forgetting and should give my Salvadorian Card back for forgetting


  4. Yuca is poisonous when undercooked! Apart from that, yum :) I eat this a lot here in Puerto Rico, but I’ve never made them myself.


  5. Oh, my golly! I know this is an older recipe, but we just picked up yucca to use for the first time and made these tonight. So darn delicious! It might sound crazy, but the really crispy pieces reminded me of popcorn. Thanks so much for this easy recipe, Russ!


  6. Hi Russ,
    I’ve made these more than once and as always, your recipes are deelish! I’m hoping that with your knack for knowing all things (or at least many things) food, that you can help me with this: I’d like to peel and freeze yuca because many times now I’ve gone to my pantry to grab a yuca for supper only to find that it is has a few soft spots. In my small Canadian city I’m lucky to be able to find yuca at all let alone frozen stuff. Do you have any idea if a person just peels and chops and freezes these things, or do they require some kind of prep like blanching? I’m also a bit weirded out about yuca’s toxicity. Are the toxins rendered ineffective by a chemical reaction from the heating process or do the toxins ‘leech’ into the cooking water? Just want to know if I can add yuca to a stew or use as a thickener for gravy.
    Thanks for any insight!


    1. Hi Heidi, the frozen yuca you find in stores is par-boiled, I’d do it about the same amount of time I do it in this recipe, then drain and cool before freezing. Regarding its use in a stew, I believe the toxins are destroyed at high temperatures; plenty of stews use yuca that isn’t pre-boiled so I imagine it’s fine. Hope that helps!


  7. These are amazing! It was my first time using yuca and thought these would be a little weird but they were perfect. And I second the popcorn comment! I liked them so much I’m going to buy a bunch of frozen yuca (half of my “fresh” one had to be thrown away due to black streaks) and make more of these and try some of the adventurous yuca-based fried treats I’ve seen around! Thanks so much for this recipe. :)


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