South American Yuca Fries (Yuca Frita)

South American Yuca Fries (Yuca Frita) Recipe

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
457 Calories
25g Fat
58g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 457
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 47mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 31mg 156%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 410mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In South America, Cuba, and other Latin countries, yuca, the edible root of the cassava, is a popular root vegetable. It's used in the same way potatoes are prepared: mashed, boiled, and fried, as in this yuca fries (yuca frita) recipe. There are two things to keep in mind when making yuca fries: First, the yuca is always cut into thick wedges as opposed to thinner French fries, which makes them crispy on the outside and soft but densely textured on the inside. And secondly, the yuca needs to be partially cooked before it is fried, or else the outside of the fries will burn while the inside remains raw.

You can buy fresh yuca root or frozen yuca that is already peeled; either one works well for this recipe. Yuca fries are delicious with aji chile pepper sauce or huancaína (spicy cheese) sauce for dipping.

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"I've never worked with yuca before, so I wasn't familiar with it, but I'm a big fan of anything fried. Once fried, salt, dip in a condiment of choice, and eat...all of them. They were AMAZING. They were crispy and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, with pockets of crispy airiness throughout." —Carrie Parente

South American Yuca Fries (Yuca Frita) Test Images
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds yuca root (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

  • Dash of kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    South American Yuca Fries (Yuca Frita) ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. If using fresh yuca, peel the yuca using a knife.

    peel the yuca with a knife

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Cut the yuca into large pieces.

    cut yuca into pieces

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Remove the fibrous inner core of the root.

    remove the yuca core with a knife

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook yuca until it starts to turn translucent and can be pierced easily with a fork, about 20 to 30 minutes.

    boil the yuca in salted water

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  6. Drain thoroughly.

    drain the water from the yuca in the pot

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  7. Check yuca for any remaining fibrous pieces and remove them.

    remove fibrous pieces from the yuca

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  8. Cut the yuca root into thick rectangular wedges.

    cut yuca into smaller pieces

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  9. Heat 2-inches of vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat.

    pan with oil

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  10. Once the oil is hot (ideally 350 F), fry the yuca in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown.

    yuca pieces frying in oil

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  11. Carefully remove yuca from pan with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer and place onto a plate lined with paper towels.

    yuca pieces frying in oil, removed from oil with a slotted spoon

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  12. Sprinkle the yuca fries with kosher salt. Serve hot with aji chile pepper sauce or huancaina sauce for dipping and enjoy.

    South American Yuca Fries (Yuca Frita) on paper towels

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond