Baked Yuca (Cassava) Fries
Yuca, native to the Taíno Indians, has a dark brown hard rind, which protects the firm white starchy flesh and has a stiff cord that runs lengthwise down the center of the yuca. The Taíno Indians would make a starchy flour from the yuca to prepare a flatbread known as “casabe.” Today, the Puerto Rican culture (islanders) have created many dishes, using the yuca as its main ingredient in preparing pasteles, flans, escabeche, pudding, tembleque, etc.
1 pound frozen yuca (cassava)*
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove the pieces of frozen yuca from the bag and place them in a steamer. Steam the yuca for approximately 20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Let cool. Remove the fibrous string located in the center of the yuca and cut into 3½ x ½-inch sticks. Place yuca sticks in a bowl.
In another bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and garlic powder. With a spoon, mix all ingredients until well blended. Pour olive oil mixture over yuca sticks in a bowl. Toss the yuca sticks until evenly coated. Place the yuca sticks on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
Baked for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the yuca sticks with a spatula and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes or until they are golden and crispy. Serve warm and with ketchup.
You can also season the yuca fries with other condiments if you so desire.
* If using the yuca root vegetable, peel the yuca and cut the yuca in half lengthwise. Cut each half, measuring 3½-inch long. Rinse the pieces of yuca and place them in a steamer. Follow the instructions above as outlined.
Yuca Root Vegetables