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Yucca Fries

Yucca Fries

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Parsley-Cilantro Aioli


tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves


tablespoons packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley


small clove garlic, finely chopped

Yuca Fries


bag (18 oz) frozen peeled yuca (cassava), thawed, cut into 3x1/2-inch pieces (French fry-size)

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  • 1

    In food processor, place Parsley-Cilantro Aioli ingredients. Cover; process. Refrigerate.

  • 2

    In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat to 375°F. In batches of 10, fry yuca pieces 1 to 3 minutes, stirring carefully to keep fries from sticking together. (Fries will turn from white to yellow but will not turn golden.) Serve warm with aioli.

Expert Tips

  • If there is fresh yuca in the grocery store, it has to be peeled, blanched and cut before frying.
  • Serve with your favorite meat and a mixed green salad.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • A delicious take on French fries with a tasty aioli. Enjoy!

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Peel cassava (yuca) and cut into 4-inch pieces, lengthwise.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Add cassava to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. When the pot comes to a boil, season with salt to taste. Let cassava cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Drain cooked cassava well and let cool to handle.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Cut cassava pieces in half and remove the hard spine in the middle. Cut the halved pieces into 1/2-inch strips.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Add about 2 to 3 inches of oil to a heavy pot or Dutch oven and heat over high until the oil is 350 F. Working in batches, fry cassava pieces until they are gently browned.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Using a slotted spoon, remove cassava fries from hot oil and let drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Serve just as you would French fries. This mojito garlic dipping sauce is perfect for adding flavor.

Yuca Fries Are the Crispy-Fluffy Childhood Treat I Constantly Crave

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something's so easy to make that you don't even need one. Welcome to It's That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

I was probably 12 years old when I had the disappointing realization—for everyone else, not for me—that not all moms make crispy and fluffy mogo fries on Sunday afternoons. Mogo is the Swahili word for yuca (pronounced YOO-KAH), which is also known as cassava and manioc. Not to be confused with yucca, a pretty flowering desert plant that you most definitely should not eat, yuca is an unattractive tubular root vegetable that you most definitely should eat.

Native to the tropical Americas, where it’s been harvested for thousands of years, yuca was brought to Tanzania by Portuguese traders a very long time ago—I'm talking circa the 1500s. But it’s not just popular in Africa (which as of 2002 was growing about half the world’s supply)—it’s also an essential ingredient in numerous cuisines across the globe, from South and Central America and the Caribbean to West Africa, Thailand, India, and China.

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Its versatility makes it a go-to ingredient in so many East African households, including my own. Of all the ways we cook yuca (it should always be cooked and never eaten raw)—slow-cooked with beef and coconut milk for a creamy and hearty stew, sliced paper-thin and fried, then tossed in chili powder and salt to make mogo chips, or shredded and flash-fried to make a crispy and crunchy garnish for soups—my favorite yuca preparation is mogo fries: The yuca is cut into strips, boiled, seasoned, then fried to create an extra-crispy exterior to encase the velvety interior.

Before you can actually make the mogo fries, you’ve got to get your hands on some yuca. Find this super-starchy root vegetable, not unlike a potato, in the produce sections of most international grocery stores and at some farmers markets. If you can’t find it fresh, try looking in the freezer section where it’s sold peeled and cut into segments.

In terms of flavor yuca is pretty neutral, so it takes on whatever flavors you choose to season it with. But the standout here is the texture—it's so starchy that for the most part it holds its shape even when cooked to death, which is why this method for mogo fries works out so well. The boiling ensures a fully cooked mashed potato-esque texture on the inside and, when fried, the natural starch from the mogo, along with the dusting of flour, creates an impressive outer crisp to contrast.

Now when it comes to actually handling yuca, it takes some extra elbow grease. Its woody, waxy skin needs more than the swipe of a vegetable peeler to be removed. Instead, trim the ends, stand it up on a flat side, and carefully run a sharp knife down the sides to peel it. After that it's pretty much smooth sailing—the white fleshy interior is similar in texture to a raw sweet potato and can be easily cut into with a sharp knife. For 4–6 servings of fries, start with 3 medium yuca, peeled and cut into spears. As you prep the yuca, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil on high heat. When it’s boiling, add the spears and at least 2 Tbsp. kosher salt. Boil the yuca until they can be easily pierced with a fork, about 25–30 minutes. Use a colander to thoroughly drain the yuca, then let them sit out for about 15 minutes to allow the moisture to steam off. You might notice a woody stem running through the edge of some of your spears. If you find one, gently remove it by peeling it away with your fingers or a knife and discard it. I find it’s easier to do this after the mogo is boiled.

In a medium-size bowl, combine another ½ teaspoon kosher salt, the juice of 1 lemon, ¼ tsp. Kashmiri chile powder, and ¼ tsp. ground turmeric. This will act as a flavorful seasoning for the yuca. Add the yuca and toss to coat evenly. Then sprinkle over 1 Tbsp. flour and toss again.

Heat a large pot of vegetable oil on high heat for deep-frying. If you have a kitchen thermometer, aim for about 425°. Carefully add the yuca to the hot oil in batches, about 4–6 pieces at time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3–5 minutes. Remember, the yuca is already cooked through—we're only looking for color and crispness here. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the fries from the hot oil and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of flaky salt or some tamarind chutney.

And just like that, I’m 12 again, it's noon on a Sunday, and I’m sitting on a stool by the island in my mom’s kitchen.

Zaynab Issa is a writer based in New York. Most recently, she has published the zine-style cookbook Let’s Eat that features some of the East African and Indian recipes she grew up eating.

Fried Yuca Sticks With Fiery sauce – Addictive Super Bowl Munchies

I can’t believe what I’m about to write. This Sunday is Super Bowl, and I’m excited about it. Since when do I give a “rabano” (radish) about American football? I always thought it was such a violent nonsense sport with a flawed name (shouldn’t it be handball or bodyball or let’s-kick-each-others-asses-ball instead?) But as change is the only constant, here I am, living in NYC, and awaiting Sunday’s game with expectation.

The New York Giants are up against the New England Patriots, so one ends up sympathizing with the city and it’s people, and getting emotionally involved by default. I also have been watching a few games in the past weeks, with a patient boyfriend by my side explaining the players’ every move, so at least I now know what’s going, and don’t get painfully bored by it. It’s even kinda fun, but shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone!

So I’m gonna watch the Super Bowl this weekend with a few friends, and as I do in every other aspect of my life, I’m gonna focus on the food, of course. For Sunday’s game I thought one of our simplest, easiest, cheapest, and most delicious piqueos (hors d’oeuvres) would absolutely nail it as the ultimate game-watching finger food. Perfect to be accompanied by a few beers, and to get one’s appetite going if more food is on the menu. And this country is the french fries meca, so a little deviation from that –fried yucas– will surely keep everyone around happy.

In Peru we use any excuse to nibble on yuquitas fritas (fried yuca sticks), with some of our favourite sauces (huancaina, ocopa, rocoto sauce , aji sauce, guacamole…). The secret for finger licking fried yuca sticks is to boil them in advance, then cool, cut, and freeze for a few days or weeks, and when you want to make them just take the frozen sticks out and fry them without previous defrosting. The result is a wonderful creamy yuca, with a golden crispy crust, made in a few minutes. What could be better than that?

How to make yuca fries


  • If you are using fresh yuca/cassava: Cut off both ends of the yuca root. Depending on the length of the yucca, cut the root into 3 to 4-inch rounds. Using a large vegetable peeler or sharp knife, place the root upright and peel the tough, waxy brown skin and also the pinkish-purplish layer under the brown skin. SEE PIC. 1 I find it easier to peel it after soaking the root for about 10 minutes.
  • Skip this process If you are using frozen yuca/cassava since it is already peeled and divided into sections.


  • Place fresh or frozen rounds in a pot with enough tap water to cover and a good pinch of salt, and let boil over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender and the ends start to split open a little bit. SEE PIC. 2 Depending on the thickness of the rounds, it may take extra 5-10 minutes to get fork tender!
  • Remove from water using a slotted spoon and drain well with a paper towel. When they are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and remove the thin, woody stick that runs through the middle. SEE PIC. 3


  • Then, cut them into sticks (about ½ to ¾-inch thick).
  • To Bake: Preheat oven to 425º F (about 218º C). Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried cilantro (optional), and distribute them in a single layer onto a baking sheet. SEE PIC. 4 Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once. Yuca Fries are done when they are lightly golden brown and also crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. Season with more salt & pepper, if desired. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top and serve with ketchup, Jalapeño-Lime Aioli, chimichurri, or your favorite dipping sauce.
  • To Deep-Fry: heat enough oil to cover the yuca sticks in a heavy-bottom pot (over medium-high heat) or a deep-fryer (to reach 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C). Then fry them in batches, turning once, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain over paper towels.
  • To Air Fry: Spray both the air fryer basket and the yucca fries with cooking spray. Then cook them at 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C for 13-16 minutes or more depending on their thickness, flipping yuca halfway through. Leave enough space between them to cook evenly. If cooking frozen yuca fries in the air fryer, add them to the basket and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes, and shake the basket. Then spray them with the cooking spray and follow the directions above.

Watch the video: How to grow Yucca plants from cuttings (October 2022).