Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The root of my desire?

Katie's New Food Challenge strikes again! This time I picked up this funky looking root...


What is it? Yuca, or cassava. The cassava plant is a woody shrub with inedible leaves (they can make cyanide!) and a long thick root. Yuca does need to be cooked before consumption, so don't try it raw. It's a starch, similar to potato, that is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. And here's a fun fact- tapioca is actually the starch extracted from yuca!

I picked a smaller piece, as I had NO idea how to get at the edible part and wasn't sure what I'd be able to do with it. Turns out you are supposed to peel the brown waxy rind... my peeler wasn't quite able to do that (too thick), so I just cut it away to reveal the white root underneath.


Ok, now what? After some contemplation and recipe searching, I decided to use my mandoline and thinly slice the yuca.


I then used this method to make yuca chips in the microwave! I could've done it in my oven, but it was already being used, and this was incredibly easy. I sprinkled them with a little bit of kosher salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper, tossed them around in a sprayed pie plate, and after 2-3 min, voila!


Along with a quick Mango-Avocado Salsa, my yuca chips made a great snack! If I had gotten a bigger root, they'd be perfect chip alternative at a bigger gathering :)

Mango Avocado Salsa
Recipe by Shannon

1/2c-3/4c diced mango
1/2 avocado, diced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2T-1T Daregal fresh frozen cilantro (or fresh cilantro, chopped)
juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients. Sit at room temp for a bit to let flavors come together before serving.

31 comments:

Erica said...

VERY cool. I always see these at the foodstore and wondered about them. Thanks!

shellyfish said...

Oohh yuca! I think we call it manioc here - I love the idea of making chips with it! Yum!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

You are so adventurous!!

I love tapioca (especially in pudding!!!!), but I don't think I've ever had yucca.

Oh, but the other day I saw ramps on a menu, and I thought of you :)

Pam said...

I've never had yuca before but the chips and dip looks delicious.

Sara said...

I love yuca! I usually cut it into chunks and pan fry it, I definitely want to try these chips next time.

Elra said...

Yuca is my favorite, I like it even more then I like potato. This method of making yuka chips is very interesting. I am sure it is much healthier!

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

I loved Arico's cassava chips but have never thought to make my own! looks great.

Esi said...

I grew up on cassava. I like how you used it here.

Anna said...

Neat! I've never tried it.

Diana said...

I just made tapioca pudding last night! I didn't exactly make it straight from the yuca starch though, let's just say that. I have had yuca fries at a local latin-american spot here in NYC though and they are TA-STY!

glidingcalm said...

you are sooo creative!! i recently had it cooked at a Cuban restaurant and it was FABULOUS.

chips and mango salsa?! mmmmmmm

Sharon said...

What a fun way to enjoy it!

Heather said...

yum! i love new ideas for chips. i've never used yucca, so thanks for the idea! i'll have to give it a try!

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

Yuca!!! I've seen it in groceries stores and wonder how can you eat it. I've never thought about chips... great idea! :)

Elina said...

I don't know if I've ever had yuka... the chips look like the perfect way to cook them up. That salsa sounds awesome too (minus the shallots ;) )

Bec said...

did you have any problems with the chips sticking in the microwave?

MizFit said...

VERY interesting. I cant say Ive ever even noticed them in the grocery but I have purchased bags of Yuca chips.

the toddler would love the peeling process Im certain...

ttfn300 said...

Bec- I kept them to a single layer and it was ok, sometimes the edges stuck together, but easily came apart.

Adam said...

Yuca chips... pretty cool idea. I'm always looking for stand ins for potatoes, so this is really neat.

And I love the mango salsa, it's very island-y for the summer. We should party, totally.

pigpigscorner said...

I had the chips but haven't actually seen it's original form. Reminds me of ginger somehow =)

Cate O'Malley said...

Yum on the yucca chips - guilt-free snack food - perfect!

biz319 said...

What a great idea! I love those veggie chips from Whole Foods - I'll have to give this one a try!

Reeni♥ said...

I've seen yuca before but had no idea what to do with it. Your so clever, these look great with the mango salsa!

HeatherBakes said...

You're so creative! I've tried yuca fries before but never made them myself. I bet the chips were delicious.

burpandslurp said...

oh my god! thank you SO much for this post...I've always wondered how to cook yuca! and this is like the simplest and fastest and most delicious way ever! you rock!

Kerstin said...

What a great idea and I love that you can make them in the microwave! I still need to get a mandoline!

5 Star Foodie said...

I've seen yuca at the store and never knew what to do with it. The chips are a great idea and wonderful with mango-avocado salsa!

Emily said...

Mmm those chips look crazy good! I love yuca but we can't buy it here.

lauren said...

WOW - I am so impressed...the chips look awesome...especially with that salsa.

Meg said...

I have never had yuca! I think it is time to try!

Joanne said...

I LOVE yucca. Did you know it is the most commonly eaten starchy veggie in most of the world? My roommate made an excellent garlic sauce for it not too long ago. Good stuff.

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