Fried Yuca

Yuca is another of those wonderful dollar stretching foods found in local Panama markets. It's the starchy root of the Yuca (also known as Cassava) plant and there are probably as many ways of preparing it as there are cooks in Panama. A good number of recipes can be found by searching Google for 'yuca recipes'. My favorite is fried and it makes a good substitute for french fries.

Start with a medium sized yuca root. Look for a root that is as straight and undamaged as you can find, not more than 4 inches in diameter. While the larger roots can also make great yuca fries, they are more likely to be tough. Remove the skin and wash thoroughly to remove any root fragments and soil. Cut into strips roughly 1/2 to 1 inch square and 4 to 6 inches long. Boil in salted water until just tender enough to pierce with a fork. Remove from water and drain for about 10 minutes. Deep fat fry at 350 degrees until golden brown. Season and serve just as you would french fries.

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