Yuca Frita - Fried Manioc


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Yuca frita is fried yucca (manioc) and is very, very easy to make. Yucca has been a staple of the South American diet for thousands of years. It's a starch and very filling. Traditionally, yucca was eaten boiled but over the centuries people took to frying it too.

Cut the raw yucca into 1-inch thick sticks.

In all parts of Bolivia fried yucca is served as a side dish, usually with grilled meat dishes, especially at barbecues (churrascos). NO churrasco is complete without fried yucca. People complain if it's not available. It's like charred meat and yuca frita MUST be served together otherwise your churrasco is incomplete.

In Andean (Western) Bolivia, fried yuca is usually served in much the same way as you would serve french fries - as a side with grilled chicken or hamburgers. In Tropical (Eastern) Bolivia, fried yuca is a natural accompaniment to churrascos and generally people serve it with pickled red onions (sort of like relish in the US, only pink - not green). You scoop up the red onion "relish" with a chunk of fried yucca and eat them together. It's scrumptious!

Fry the yuca sticks in very hot oil.

Yucca is a tuber (root) with a very tough outer bark. You simply wash off the dirt and slice the outer bark off with a knife. Then wash the yucca again and cut it into sticks (much the same as carrot or celery sticks) and about the same thickness too.

Heat a pan of oil (about 1 inch deep) until very hot. Then, simply fry the yucca sticks in the oil until golden brown (about 10 minutes).

Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain the excess fat. Immediately sprinkle with salt before the oil dries off (is absorbed). Fried yucca should be served immediately - hot - as it will be crunchy on the outside and nice and soft and fluffy on the inside.

If your yucca is not nice and fluffy and soft on the inside you either sliced it too thin and it fried all the way through or you fried it for too long and it fried all the way through.

Serve the yuca frita hot and salty!

Once the yuca frita has cooled, it doesn't warm again very well. It absorbs the oil and become soft and limp. You can certainly refrigerate left overs, but instead of warming them up in a microwave, I suggest placing them on a cookie sheet and re-warming in the oven so they regain their nice crunchy exterior (sort of).

Notice to kids: please do NOT make this recipe without adult supervision. It requires a large amount of burning hot oil and is very, very dangerous!!!



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