Caribbean Yuca (Cassava) Fries

Caribbean Yuca (Cassava) Fries

Sure, you’ve eaten french fries, sweet potato fries, and maybe even plantain fries, but there’s one more crispy side dish you should add to your fry rotation: yuca fries. Also called cassava fries, these tasty little bites are made from yuca (a.k.a. cassava), a starchy root often used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines.

Turning yuca into homemade fries that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside is easy. Deep-frying accentuates yuca's slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It's similar in texture and taste to potato fries, but sweeter and more flavorful. You'll be hooked after the first taste.

Why You Need to Prep Yuca With Caution

Raw yuca is poisonous but the toxins are removed during cooking, so it just needs to be properly prepped before turning it into fries. Also, the white flesh will turn yellow, which is normal. Just resist the temptation to nibble on yuca until the fries are out of the fryer.

To prep the yuca (cassava), first the tuber needs to be peeled to remove the fibrous brown skin. Next, boil it and remove the hard spine, then cut the flesh into long strips, just like french fries. Finally, submerge in a pot of hot oil and fry to crispy perfection. You can bread them before frying, but they’re just as tasty fried au naturel.

Wait, Is It Yuca or Yucca?

Don’t confuse yuca with yucca. The former is another name for cassava (the root vegetable), while the latter is a spiky ornamental plant native to parts on the U.S. and Mexico.

How to Serve Yuca Fries

Enjoy the yuca fries while still hot as a snack or serve them as a satisfying vegetable side for any meal. Choose your favorite dipping sauce and add even more flavor to each bite. Yuca fries are fabulous with mojito garlic dipping sauce, or you can go with spicy homemade mayo or simple ranch dressing.

“Yuca (or cassava) fries are highly underrated, and I’m hoping this easy recipe will bring everyone onboard this delicious train.” —Lauryn Bodden

A blue plate holding Cassava Fries A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds yuca (cassava)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Vegetable oil, or another neutral oil (e.g., canola), for deep-frying

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Caribbean Cassava (Yuca) Fries gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Peel the yuca and cut it lengthwise into 4-inch pieces.

    The cassava (yuca) is being peeled with a potato peeler on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

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

    Cut yuca cooking in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Drain the cooked yuca well and let it cool until it's easy to handle.

    Drain and cooked cassava resting in a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

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

    Cassava pieces cut in half and with their hard spine in the middle removed

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. 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 yuca pieces until they are gently browned.

    Cuts of yuca being fried in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

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

    Fried yuca on a paper towel lined plate

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  8. Serve just as you would french fries with ketchup, mojito garlic dipping sauce, or spicy homemade mayo.

    Caribbean Cassava (Yuca) Fries on a tan plate

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Recipe Variation

Yuca (cassava) fries are delicious with salt and pepper, but you can also toss them in herbs and spices for more flavor.

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