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Yuca Fries (Yucca Frita)

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh yucca (cassava), peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Lime or lemon wedges (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Cut cassava into 2-inch long rounds, then rinse. Or you can substitute frozen yucca. Put the yucca and enough cold water to cover, plus 2 inches, into a large saucepan. Add salt and lemon juice. Cover and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Don't let it boil longer than this or it will become mushy.
  2. Drain through a colander and allow the yucca to cool enough to be handled. Gently peel off any pinkish fibrous layers that may cling to the tuber. Cut the yucca into 3/4-inch wide wedges and remove the fibrous core with a paring knife, then discard. If the yucca is wet, dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  3. Heat 2 inches vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or deep fat fryer to 375 degrees F on a deep fat thermometer. Fry the yucca wedges, one third at a time, turning once, until light golden — about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the fried yucca to a tray lined with paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt or salt and ground dried red chile or paprika. Toss.
  5. Serve immediately with lime or lemon wedges, or with the accompaniment of your choice.

Serves 4 as a side dish.