Yucca root is a bland, potato-like tuber. According to the CDC, this starchy food offers 160 calories per ½ cup; 2 g of dietary fiber; and is a great source of vitamin C. A suitable potato replacement, yucca root can be prepared in a variety of ways. Mark Bittman, author of "How to Cook Everything," offers that it bakes like a potato, roasts like a plantain and can be shredded to make a dish similar to potato pancakes. He adds that cooking yucca root typically requires large quantities of liquids, as it tends to soak them up. Keep in mind that yucca root will take on the flavors of anything that it is cooked with.
Things You'll Need
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Pot or sauce pan
- Cheese grater
- 1 egg
- ½ Cup flour
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
- Frying pan
- Vegetable oil
- Cookie sheet
- Deep fryer
- Paper towels
- Tapioca flour
- Tapioca pasta
Remove the yucca root's dark brown skin carefully before you cook it, using a sharp knife or potato peeler. If you have difficulty peeling it, soak the roots for two to three hours in salted water prior to peeling.
Chop the yucca root into cubes, using a sharp knife. Add it to your favorite soup or stew recipe along with, or in place of potatoes. Keep in mind that it will need to cook for 20 to 30 minutes to be tender.
Boil cubed yucca root in salted water for 20 to 30 minutes. After removing it from the water, let it cool; and then squeeze it dry. Break it up and add it to soups and stews; mash it flat and fry it; or add it to bread dough.
Grate 1 cup of yucca root for yucca pancakes. Mix grated yucca with one egg, ½ cup of flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder, to tase. Form the mixture into balls; and flatten it into pancakes. Fry the pancakes in ¼ inch of olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat until golden on both sides.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to bake or roast yucca root. Toss fry-cut or whole peeled roots in vegetable oil, salt and any other spices you enjoy. Spread the yucca root on a cookie sheet and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes for fries and one hour for whole roots.
Cut yucca root into long, thick strips for yucca fries. Heat a deep fryer or a pot of vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or medium high. Fry yucca pieces until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt to taste.
Dry yucca root and grind it to make tapioca flour, or purchase it from a health food store. Add tapioca flour to breads and pastries as a gluten-free flour alternative, or use it in place of corn starch as a thickener.
Make or purchase tapioca pasta made from tapioca flour, to enjoy yucca root in tapioca pudding or as a semolina pasta alternative.
Tips & Warnings
- Yucca root is a thickening agent. It will thicken broths to which it is added.
- Use caution when peeling and cutting yucca root; it can be tough. If you have difficulty, soak or cook it first.
- The yucca root's brown skin contains small quantities of toxins; it is best to peel it before cooking or eating it.
- Be cautious of oil splatters when pan frying or deep frying.
- CDC: Yucca Root
- "How to Cook Everything"; Mark Bittman; 1998
- Maroon Cultures in the Americas: Cassava Preparation
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