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need help cooking yuca

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bella_sarda May 3, 2009 10:13 AM

I am looking for a way to prepare yuca so that it can be made in advance and then reheated. I am having some issues. First I peeled it and cut into wedges about 1 inch wide on edge and 2-3 inches long. then I boiled the wedges in salted water for 30 minutes. Now I'm roasting in a 450 oven, after tossing to coat with olive oil. One problem is that the yuca did not cook evenly during the boiling phase. Portions of opaque white flesh remained, and these are now dry, starchy patches in the roasted pieces. I was concerned that if I let it boil for too long, until all the opaque parts were translucent, the yuca would have fallen apart, since some of the cooked parts were getting gluey, and I've heard yuca can just turn to mush if you boil for too long. Any tips? By the way I used very fresh, firm yuca to start.

thanks!

also---is it possible to reheat deep-fried yuca with good results or will they just be soggy and greasy? thanks

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    bgosh RE: bella_sarda May 3, 2009 11:35 AM

    Two things I can think of is, make sure your boiling pot is large enough to accommodate the yucca you are boiling (that they are not all piled up and compacted.) Second, i like to just peel the yucca and chop it into cylinder sections, and hi simmer it until tender, about 30-40 minutes, removing the fully cooked pieces with a slotted spoon when they are ready. For some reason, there is always a piece or two that takes longer to cook.
    When it's cool enough to handle, you can easily break it into wedges, then fry or roast.

    As for reheating yucca fries, it's the same problem as french fries, they won't be as nice. But on a rack starting in a cold oven, turn on the heat to 375 and when the oven heats up they should be hot, and at least edible.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bgosh
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      bella_sarda RE: bgosh May 4, 2009 07:33 AM

      thanks, bgosh. I think what I will do is boil as you suggest, then chop into wedges and set aside. Then I will do the oven-roasting phase when my dinner guests arrive. This way they won't be double-roasted, and it only takes about 20 minutes to get them crispy in the oven.

    2. paulj RE: bella_sarda May 4, 2009 08:50 AM

      Did you remove the fibrous core?

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj
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        bella_sarda RE: paulj May 4, 2009 09:23 AM

        Yes, I did. That wasn't the problem. It was the starchy uncooked part in the interior of the pieces. I also used plentiful water. I guess I just didn't cook them long enough.

      2. Sam Fujisaka RE: bella_sarda May 4, 2009 12:08 PM

        Just a note about "fresh" yuca. Yuca can be harvested over a long time period. There is no real ripen and harvest date. The above ground stalks and foilage can even be cut down and the tubers left in the ground for quite some time. Once up-rooted, yuca stays "fresh" for quite some time as well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
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          bella_sarda RE: Sam Fujisaka May 4, 2009 02:48 PM

          Interesting fact, but what is the relevance? Perhaps this could explain why there is a high variance in the cooking time suggested by different recipes, and in the actual experience of how long it takes to cook? I noticed that the yuca I was working with recently seemed somehow fresher, whiter, firmer, than some that I have worked with in the past.

          1. re: bella_sarda
            Sam Fujisaka RE: bella_sarda May 4, 2009 03:34 PM

            Not at all relevant. Sorry. The differences may have to do with variety and where it came from. There are many, many varieties - and don'tknow who exports to the US.

          2. re: Sam Fujisaka
            kirinraj RE: Sam Fujisaka May 4, 2009 03:29 PM

            my advice is to just buy frozen yuca, like most latinos do in the US. Also, make sure to cook it thoroughly, making sure that a knife can easily pierce and slide out of it.

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