First and foremost, DO NOT EAT RAW YUCA! Raw yuca contains two cyanogenic glucosides called linamarin and lotaustralin, which are decomposed by linamarase, thus liberating hydrogen cyanide. I am no chemistry expert, but this stuff is highly toxic and you could become seriously ill and it could even be deadly.
So, now that I have scared you enough, lets talk about how yummy yucca is, if you dare to eat it, he he. You have nothing to worry about, as long as you cook the yuca before you eat it. In Venezuela we eat it all the time, and no one that I know of has ever died from eating yuca. So, seriously, don’t worry. Just don’t eat it raw.
Yucca is a tuberous root, and in Venezuela we eat it in several different ways. Yuca is served boiled as a side to our delicious parrillas, rotisserie chicken, or anything you can think of. We also add it to soups. We fry it to make delicious yuca fries. We even prepare it differently to make casabe, a sort of yuca cracker. So we use it much like you would a potato. Boiled yuca is usually served hot with a little bit of butter, or a cilantro and parsley mojo, or Guasacaca (specially when eating at parrillas). Fried yucca is usually served as a side much like French fries, with salt, but you could definitely dip it in a delicious Venezuelan Salsa Verde as well.
What you need:
- 500 gr. yuca (about 1 large or 2 pieces)
- Enough water to cover the yuca
- Salt (to taste)
- Toppings (butter, cilantro and parsley mojo, guasacaca, salsa verde, etc).
1. Cut the tips of the yuca, then peel it and rinse it with water.
2. In a large enough pot, add the water and the yuca (make sure the water covers the yuca entirely). Turn the stove to high heat until the water starts boiling and then continue to cook for about 30 minutes.
3. Add the salt and then continue to cook for about 15 to 30 more minutes or until the yuca is soft (test like a potato), or until it starts to open up.
4. Drain the yuca and serve hot.
5. You can serve it with butter, with salt, or with a cilantro and parsley mojo, salsa verde or guasacaca.
What you need:
- Same as above, plus oil for frying
1. Follow the instructions for Boiled Yuca.
2. Make sure you drain the yuca right away, and then let it cool completely. Or better yet, place it in your fridge for it to cool faster.
3. Cut the yuca into sticks.
4. Heat up enough frying oil and fry the yuca sticks until golden brown all over.
5. Serve hot and sprinkle with salt.
6. You can serve with a yummy dipping sauce like Venezuelan Salsa Verde or Guasacaca.