Aipim Frito Fries

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Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Yuca fries are quick and easy to make. They can also be baked in the oven for an even healthier option. These are naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and, of course, crispy on the outside, but soft inside. This is a great way to give French fries a break and make a great side dish for grilled or barbecued meats.

Are you familiar with yuca? It is also known as manioc or cassava. It is a starchy root vegetable that is very popular in South America, particularly Brazil.

It was a staple in many childhoods, and people still love it today.

Brazilian yuca fries recipe, however, isn’t your average recipe. They are healthier Yuca Fries, as they are not deep-fried.

The flavor is there, but the extra inches around your waist are not! Isn’t that great?

Yuca Fries 

This recipe is simple. You only need to peel and boil the yuca. Then, slice it into sticks and bake until crispy.

Serve them with ketchup or rose sauce (made from mayo and ketchup), chimichurri, avocado sauce, or cilantro mojo. You can do whatever you like!

These make an excellent snack, appetizer, or side dish for grilled meats like picanha roast, the popular Brazilian feijoada, or a vegetarian feijoada.

Yuca, cassava, or manioc are the names for this ingredient. They refer to a tuber with a starchy center and a waxy outer skin. It is native to South America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.

This vegetable is increasingly popular in Whole30, Paleo and gluten-free diets. It is great as a substitute for sweet potato fries or potato fries.

You can also make yucca chips with this vegetable, but this process is a bit different from baked yucca fries. The yucca is also peeled, but not boiled. Instead, soak the chips in water and cut them with a mandolin. Then, pat dry the chips and fry.

What is Yuca?

Brazilian Yuca

Cassava, or yuca, is the third-highest carbohydrate source in the tropics. It’s consumed by approximately half a billion people around the world and can grow in very poor soils.

It is a popular vegetable root or tuber, and it is more commonly eaten than you might think, even on American tables.

Yuca VS Yucca

Today, you will be making crispy baked yuca fries, not yucca root fries or yucca fries. Why?

Yuca and yucca can be described as 2 distinct things!

Yuca (pronounced yoo-cuh) is the root portion of this plant. Tapioca flour and pearls, and other derivatives are made from the powdered root.

Meanwhile, yucca, which is spelled with double c, is an ornamental plant that contains fruits, seeds, flowers, and flowering stems. However, it does not contain the edible root of yucca. This spiky-flowered plant can be found in the Southern and Western US, including California, New Mexico, and Florida.

What Does Yuca Taste Like?

Yuca is starchier and chewier than potatoes, and it has a mild, slightly sweet, and somewhat nutty taste.

It is also more versatile than potatoes as you can make savory and sweet dishes from it, while potatoes are best for savory recipes. You will love yuca if you like potatoes!

How to Tell When Yuca is Bad?

The outer layer (or peel) must be firm and waxy.

The yuca root should be completely white when it is peeled. If the root shows dark spots, lines, or flecks, it is probably bad and should be thrown out.

How to Cut and Peel Yuca or Cassava?

Both ends of the yuca root should be cut off.

Depending on how long the yucca is, you can cut it into rounds of 3-4 inches.

Use a sharp knife or a large vegetable peeler, and place the root upright. Then, remove the outer layer. It is easier to remove the outer skin after it has been soaked for approximately 10 minutes.

Is Yuca Root the same as Cassava?

Yes, manioc, cassava and yuca are all the same. It is a starchy root vegetable, or tuber, with a waxy outer and starchy middle. It is used in many Latin dishes. It’s native to South America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.

What Can You Do with Yuca Root?

There are many ways to cook yuca, including boiling, baking, roasting, or frying.

You can use it to make cassava fries, chips, soups, mashed yuca, stews like shrimp bobo (bobo de camarao), cassava cake, cassava flan, and a lot more.

How to Make Fried Yuca

  1. After peeling and cutting the yuca into rounds, you need to boil it in a large pot of salted water until it becomes tender.
  2. Let it cool down, then remove the inner woody root, and slice it into fingers.
  3. Pat dry, then fry or bake. Serve with a sauce!

How to Fry Yuca Fries

In order to deep-fry, you need to heat enough in a heavy-bottom pot (over medium-high heat) or deep-fryer (reach 375°F or 190°C) oil to cover the yuca sticks. Next, fry the yuca sticks in batches, turning once, until they are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces and drain them on paper towels.

Can I Make Cassava Fries with an Air Fryer?

Yes! Spray both the basket and the yucca fries with the cooking spray. Cook them for 13-16 minutes at 375°F or 190°C, or depending on the thickness. Flip it halfway through. Allow enough space between them for even cooking.

Frozen yuca fries can be cooked in an air fryer by placing them in a basket. Let them cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, and shake the basket. After they have cooked, spray them with cooking spray, and follow the instructions.

Recipe Tips

To make it easier to remove the skin, soak the root in water for approximately 10 minutes.

These fries can be made with fresh or frozen yuca. Frozen yuca will cook a bit faster.

Make sure you cut the fries evenly so that they cook through evenly.

When you are frying yuca fries, make sure to use oil with high smoke points like vegetable oil, canola oil, and avocado oil. This prevents oil from burning before fries are done, which gives them a bitter taste.

When you are baking them, toss them with a high-smoke point oil too.

How to Make Yuca Fries

STEP 1: CUT & PEEL

  • If you are using fresh cassava/yuca root: You will need to cut both ends off the root. The length of the yucca root will determine how long you need to cut it into rounds, approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. Use a sharp knife or a large vegetable peeler, place the root upright, and peel the tough, waxy brown skin, as well as the pinkish-purplish layers under the brown skin. After soaking the root for approximately 10 minutes, it is easier and quicker to peel it.
  • This step is unnecessary if you’re using frozen yuca/cassava. It has already been peeled and broken into sections. 

STEP 2: BOIL

  • Let the fresh or frozen rounds be placed in a pot with enough water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are fork-tender and the ends begin to split open a bit. It may take an extra 5-10 minutes depending on how thick the rounds are to make the fork tender.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the water, and let them drain on a towel. Once they are cool enough for handling, cut them in half lengthwise. Then, remove the thin, woody stick that runs through the middle.

STEP 3: BAKE OR FRY 

  • Cut them into sticks, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick.
  • To Bake: preheat the oven at 425°F (about 218°C). Then, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried cilantro (optional). Spread them on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, turning once. Yuca Fries should be lightly golden brown, crispy on the outside, but still soft on their insides. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, squeeze fresh lime juice on top, and serve with ketchup, Jalapeno–Lime Aioli, chimichurri, or your favorite dipping sauce.
  • To Deep-fry: Heat enough oil to coat the yuca sticks in either a heavy-bottom saucepan (over medium-high heat) or a deep-fryer (to reach 325°F or 193°C). Next, fry the yuca sticks in batches, turning once, until they are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces and drain them on paper towels.
  • To Air Fry: Spray the basket and the yucca fries with cooking spray. Cook them for 13 to 16 minutes at 375°F or 190°C, depending on the thickness. Flip the yuca halfway through. To ensure even cooking, leave enough space between them. Frozen yuca fries can be cooked in an air fryer. To do this, place them in a basket and let them cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, and shake the basket. Then, spray them with cooking spray, and follow the instructions.

Storing Options

The leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. They won’t be quite as crisp as they were when they were taken out of the oven.

You can also freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag and keep them there for up to 6 months.

What to Serve with Yuca Fries

  • Pan grilled pork chops
  • Brazilian pork ribs
  • Grilled chicken legs with bacon
  • X-tudo burger
  • Garlic pork loin roast
  • Grilled baby back ribs with chipotle bbq sauce
  • Beef brisket
  • Feijoada recipe
  • Vegetarian feijoada
  • Picanha roast

Recipe Card

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings4

Equipment

  • oven
  • pot
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • Baking pan

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh yuca/cassava or 6 frozen yuca sections
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (or more if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste a pinch of each
  • dried cilantro a pinch (or your favorite dried herb)
  • 1 lime

Instructions

  1. CUT & PEEL: If you are using fresh cassava/yuca root: You will need to cut both ends off the root. The length of the yucca root will determine how long you need to cut it into rounds, approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. Use a sharp knife or a large vegetable peeler, place the root upright, and peel the tough, waxy brown skin, as well as the pinkish-purplish layers under the brown skin. After soaking the root for approximately 10 minutes, it is easier and quicker to peel it.
  2. This step is unnecessary if you’re using frozen yuca/cassava. It has already been peeled and broken into sections.
  3. BOIL: Let the fresh or frozen rounds be placed in a pot with enough water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are fork-tender and the ends begin to split open a bit. It may take an extra 5-10 minutes depending on how thick the rounds are to make the fork tender.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the water, and let them drain on a towel. Once they are cool enough for handling, cut them in half lengthwise. Then, remove the thin, woody stick that runs through the middle.
  5. BAKE OR FRY: Cut them into sticks, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick.
  6. To Bake: preheat the oven at 425°F (about 218°C). Then, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried cilantro (optional). Spread them on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, turning once. Yuca Fries should be lightly golden brown, crispy on the outside, but still soft on their insides. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, squeeze fresh lime juice on top, and serve with ketchup, Jalapeno–Lime Aioli, chimichurri, or your favorite dipping sauce.
  7. To Deep-fry: Heat enough oil to coat the yuca sticks in either a heavy-bottom saucepan (over medium-high heat) or a deep-fryer (to reach 325°F or 193°C). Next, fry the yuca sticks in batches, turning once, until they are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces and drain them on paper towels.
  8. To Air Fry: Spray the basket and the yucca fries with cooking spray. Cook them for 13 to 16 minutes at 375°F or 190°C, depending on the thickness. Flip the yuca halfway through. To ensure even cooking, leave enough space between them. Frozen yuca fries can be cooked in an air fryer. To do this, place them in a basket and let them cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, and shake the basket. Then, spray them with cooking spray, and follow the instructions.

Recipe Notes

The leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. They won’t be quite as crisp as they were when they were taken out of the oven.

You can also freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag and keep them there for up to 6 months.

Where you can buy frozen yuca: frozen yuca comes ready to be cooked, so you can skip the peeling and cutting process since they come ready to cook. Frozen yuca can be found in most grocery stores, including Walmart’s Latin section. Goya is normally the preferred brand, which comes in 1.5 and 5-lb. packs.

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