Yucca Frita with Habanero Mayonnaise

Yucca…Yucca…Yucca. Never has there been a tuber more desirable than yucca. South and Central America have given us so much incredible native food like potatoes, tomatoes, quinoa. My favorite? Yucca. Hands down.

I love it stewed or braised, and I love it fried. “What does yucca taste like, LJ?” you might find yourself asking. Well I’m glad you asked, because I am here to tell you that it is the starchiest potato-like experience you’ll ever find yourself in.

In college there was a little Cuban inspired Latin restaurant down the street from my apartment, called Mi Apa. They lured me in with the Arroz con Pollo, but they stole my heart with their Ham Croquetas (these are for another time) and Yucca Frita. Any excuse to get a box of fried starchy goodness with tart mojo was a good enough excuse for me.

Ingredients for Fried Yucca

  • 1 large yucca, cut into 2 inch(ish) batons
  • 1 large pot of cold water (generously salted)
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Habanero Mayo

  • 1/2 c Mayonnaise (I prefer Duke’s…always)
  • 1/2-1 whole Lime
  • Habanero Hot Sauce
  • Salt to taste

It’s time. It’s time to make yucca, so that you can eat yucca, so that you can be happy.

Directions for Yucca

  1. To prep the yucca, peel the waxy skin with a peeler. Split in half and cut into 2 in long x 1/2 in thick batons.
  2. Dunk the chopped up yucca into the pot of water, and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, drop the temperature to a simmer and let the yucca hangout for 15 minutes until the yucca becomes stringy or frayed.
  3. Strain the yucca into a bowl lined with a towel to soak up the remaining moisture.
  4. Heat a pan with peanut oil to 350 degrees F. Be sure to include enough oil to cover the yucca.
  5. Arrange yucca in the fryer oil and fry until a light golden brown.
  6. Remove yucca and place in a paper towel lined dish so that the excess oil is absorbed. Salt generously.

Directions for Habanero Mayo

  1. Measure out 1/2 c Duke’s Mayo into desired vessel.
  2. Shake shake shake shake shake (count ’em) hot sauce into the mayo and mix.
  3. Taste the mayo mix, is it spicy enough for you? Great, add 1/2 lime. Need more spice? shake shake shake some more then add the lime juice. You gotta taste your food!
  4. Add salt as needed.

It is time, time to eat your yucca. Time to dip your yucca in spicy spicy mayonnaise and enjoy its starchy goodness. I like to eat yucca frita for brunch with fried eggs. It doesn’t give me much energy, but it does inspire a delightful Saturday afternoon nap.

 

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