If you ever wondered what yuca fries are, if they are better than potato fries and how to make them, this post will answer all your questions and finish with a delicious yuca fries recipe!
Yuca fries may be the newest coolest way to satiate our french fries craving, but yuca (or yucca, cassava) have been a part of my life since my childhood days in Brazil. This interesting looking root vegetable with thick waxy skin may have people turning the other way, but I promise you will be surprised by it’s great potential in the kitchen!
what are yuca fries?
Much like a potato, yuca is a root vegetable native of South America, Africa and Asia. It’s shape resembles a sweet potato but inside of its dark brown waxy skin, yuca is light in color just like a regular potato. Yuca and potatoes have a similar nutritional content, being classified as a starchy vegetable and therefore a good source of carbohydrates.
If you never had a taste of this yuca snack I warn you that you may become quickly addicted!
is the yuca root better than potatoes?
Compared to potatoes, yuca root is higher in calories, protein and carbs. Yuca is also rich in fiber and despite its higher carb content, yuca has a lower glycemic index than potatoes. For this reason yuca is a preferred choice among athletes and active individuals.
Note: yuca is naturally gluten-free and therefore a healthy GF alternative for all your cooking. Here are a few favorite yuca based products:
how to make yuca / cassava fries
Let’s be clear of one thing, I do not make ‘fried’ fries because the alternative ‘baked’ fries is much healthier, mess-free option that is just as delicious!
First you will need to peel the yuca which I won’t lie -it’s a pain and as of right now I don’t know of any short-cut technique. Use a strong and sturdy vegetable peeler like this one, and remove all the skin.
Using a sharp chef’s knife or other large knife, cut ends of yuca off. Then depending on the size of your yuca, you can then cut in half (two larger round pieces = larger fries) or three smaller round pieces (=smaller fries). Then you cut the yuca rounds lengthwise into several sticks (fries).
Now, when it comes to making yuca fries you will need to add a very important step which is to boil the yuca slices first for up to 10 minutes. This will slightly soften the otherwise very hard root and then you bake to crisp up the fries.
As for the seasoning, all you need is a generous amount of either chili or paprika, sea salt and a little bit of olive oil.
How To Make Yuca Fries
- 2 large yuca roots
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp chili (substitute for paprika)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the yuca!
- Using a sharp chef’s knife or the largest knife you own, cut ends of yuca off. Then depending on the size of your yuca, you can then cut in half (two larger pieces = larger fries) or three round pieces (=smaller fries). This will not affect the cooking times.
- Using a sturdy peeler remove all the brown waxy yuca skin. The yuca should be white/ light yellow in color and have no spots on them.
- Grab your chef’s knife again and cut the yuca in half (lengthwise) and each half into 3-4 thinner pieces to resemble ‘fries’. Do this with the remaining yuca.
- Give the yuca a quick rinse and add to the boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees at this time. Line a large baking sheet or two if needed with parchment paper and set aside
- Using a rubber spatula remove yucca from water and place on a paper towel or baking sheet with rack to drip excess water.
- Transfer yuca to prepared sheet and sprinkle yuca with sea salt and chili powder. You can substitute chili powder for paprika, both work just as good.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning yucca half way through.
- Store leftover yuca in an air tight/ zipper bag. Pan fry with coconut oil to re-heat
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