Fried Yuca with Spicy Mayo

Latin Cuisine

Regional cuisine from Central and South America.

Fried Yuca with Spicy Mayo

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Aji amarillo is a sweet yellow chili paste that can be found in most Latin markets with Peruvian ingredients. It can be omitted or replaced with a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh yuca (about 2 roots)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste (see note above)
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped.
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated cotija, romano, or feta cheese
  • 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil

Directions

  1. 1.

    Peel yuca, split in half crosswise, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick batons. Place in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Season well with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender and yuca is starting to fray, about 15 minutes. Drain.

  2. 2.

    While yuca is cooking, combine mayonnaise, aji amarillo, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, and cheese in the jar of a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Alternatively, blend in a up with a hand blender. Season to taste with salt if necessary. Set aside.

  3. 3.

    When yuca is boiled, heat oil to 350°F in a fryer, Dutch oven, or large wok over high heat. Adjust flame to maintain temperature. Add yuca and cook, agitating and flipping frequently, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray and shake to drain. Season with salt. Serve immediately with sauce for dipping.