Recipe: Yucca Root Fries with Olive Oil

How to Make Yucca Root Fries with Garlic-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yucca root is also known as manioc or cassava. A starchy white tropical vegetable widely used in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, yucca is a dietary staple in many parts of the world – eaten boiled, steamed, and processed as a  flour used in noodles, cakes, and pastries.

Fresh yucca has thick dark brown skin that resembles a tree’s bark; the yucca sold at Bloomingfoods has a waxy surface that must be peeled. Look for blemish-free firm tubers, and store these as you would potatoes, in a cool, dark, dry place for up to one week.

Yucca can easily be substituted for potatoes in soups and stews. The third largest dietary source of carbohydrate in the world, it contains a high amount of vitamin C and dietary fiber, traces of calcium, niacin, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, B and C. Various sources list its caloric content as somewhere between 80-120 calories per 1 cup serving.

To prepare yucca fries, Peilin quartered two large peeled yucca roots lengthwise, then cut them into 4 inch long sticks about 3/4 inch thick. These were boiled in a large pot of salty water for 30-40 minutes, until the centers were soft. Removed from the water and patted dry, the sticks were then pan-fried in batches on the stove, in a small amount of either canola or coconut oil, depending on the desired taste.

The yucca sticks were then drizzled with a garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil, prepared by sautéing garlic on medium high heat until fragrant, in a tablespoon of canola oil. (Olive oil should not be heated to temperatures this high.) Remove the garlic from the heat and add one half cup extra virgin olive oil to the pan; let sit for 5 minutes. Drizzle the garlic-infused oil over the yucca sticks, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, and serve warm. These yucca fries make a delicious starch alternative to rice or potatoes.

'East Meets West': Peilin Chiu's Cooking Demo Included Fish Parcels with Yucca Fries and Arugula/Persimmon/Beet Salad