Costa Rican Yuca Fries

yuca fries served with cabbage salad and chimichurri sauce

These Costa Rican yuca fries are a fun alternative to regular fried potatoes. Larger than French fries, you get more of the soft inside while still enjoying a crispy outside. Super easy to make and a perfect side dish or appetizer.

yuca fries served with cabbage salad and chimichurri sauce

About This Recipe

These yucca fries are a fun alternative to regular French Fries, and a very common appetizer or side dish in Costa Rica. If you aren’t familiar with yucca, it’s a tuber or root vegetable, also known as cassava. Fried yuca is a popular dish around the world, and in Costa Rica we love yuca fries.

The cassava (yuca) plant is endemic to Costa Rica, and therefore cheap and easy to come by year-round- much like the potato here in the United States. Yucca does contain trace amounts of cyanide, so it is important to thoroughly cook it before eating. 

These yuca fries are made by boiling large chunks of yucca in saltwater, cutting the rounds into thick straw pieces, and then frying them in vegetable oil. The taste is very similar to a potato, but the texture is slightly different since the fries are so much thicker than potato fries or sweet potato fries.

It’s generally easy to find yucca here in the States, most grocery stores carry it. It’s not always easy to work with, however. You do need to peel it and cut it into chunks for boiling. In some stores, you can find frozen yuca fries, and you can also find cooked cassava at some African grocery stores.

plate of yuca fries with salad and dipping sauce costa rica

Costa Rican Yucca Fries Recipe

Yield: About 3 cups cassava fries

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large yuca root
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • water

Instructions:

Start by cutting each end off of the yucca and making a long slice down the side. With a paring knife, gently peel back the hard exterior, peeling the entire yucca from top to bottom.

Cut the yucca into several 4 inch long pieces. Place the pieces in a stockpot, cover generously with water, and add a teaspoon of sea salt. 

Bring to a boil, and boil yucca until fork tender on the outside. 

Drain and dry yucca (I use paper towels), and cut each long piece into 6-8 strips, like fat French fries.Your yuca rounds will pretty naturally fall into smaller fry shaped pieces if you just look for the naturally larger gaps in the vegetable. 

Heat oil on medium-high heat to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit (I fry in an iron skillet). With a slotted spoon, carefully add yucca and fry until golden brown. 

Drain oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve hot with salsa rosada.

Note: You can boil and dry the yuca the day before frying to cut down on prep time.

yuca fry dipped in pink sauce

Serving Suggestions

Yucca fries are often served with salsa rosada, ketchup, mayonnaise and Costa Rican chimichurri. I like to serve them in place of French Fries, like with a burger or chicken tenders. 

pink sauce with yuca fries on banana leaf from costa rica

FAQ

Is yucca poisonous? – Yucca can contain trace amounts of cyanide, so it’s best to boil it thoroughly before eating. It’s not a good vegetable to try to eat raw.

Can I eat yucca when pregnant? – You can. Just make sure it’s fully cooked!

What are other uses for yucca? – Many Costa Rican dishes like the vigorón and chicharrón come with boiled yucca.WE use it in the traditional Costa Rican olla carne soup recipe as well.  You can also mash it after boiling like mashed potatoes. We also make little fried yucca and cheese patties called enyucados.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 20 large fries

Costa Rican Yucca Fries Recipe

Costa Rican Yucca Fries Recipe

These Costa Rican yuca fries are a fun alternative to regular fried potatoes. Larger than French fries, you get more of the soft inside while still enjoying a crispy outside. Super easy to make and a perfect side dish or appetizer.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large yuca root
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • salt
  • water

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting each end off of the yucca and making a long slice down the side. With a paring knife, gently peel back the hard exterior, peeling the entire yucca from top to bottom.
  2. Cut the yucca into several 4 inch long pieces. Place the pieces in a stockpot, cover generously with water, and add a teaspoon of sea salt. 
  3. Bring to a boil, and boil yucca until fork tender on the outside. 
  4. Drain and dry yucca (I use paper towels), and cut each long piece into 6-8 strips, like fat French fries.Your yuca rounds will pretty naturally fall into smaller fry shaped pieces if you just look for the naturally larger gaps in the vegetable. 
  5. Heat oil on medium-high heat to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit (I fry in an iron skillet). With a slotted spoon, carefully add yucca and fry until golden brown. 
  6. Drain oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve hot with salsa rosada.

Notes

You can boil and dry the yuca the day before frying to cut down on prep time.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 697Total Fat: 73gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 64gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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