Yuca with yogurt mojo

Yuca with yogurt mojo

This yuca was a spontaneous purchase I made yesterday while at Wholefoods. It’s a long thick root that looks like a giant sweet potato with a waxy scaly skin. I’ve never cooked it before and have only eaten it a handful of times and yet this staple in many parts of the world called to me as I was heading to the cashier.

Yuca also known as “cassava root” is the the tuber below a cassava plant. According to Wikipedia, “the cassava plant gives the highest yield of food energy per cultivated area per day among crop plants, except possibly for sugarcane”. Both the leaves and the roots are eaten, and the roots are turned into flour which is used to make tapioca, boba, bread, etc.

But there’s a catch: it contains a compound that turns into cyanide in the presence of an enzyme found in the plant. The leaves have a particularly high concentration of this compound but it’s also found in the roots. Luckily, cooking renders it harmless, so just make sure it’s cooked all the way and you’ll be fine.

It’s got a texture somewhere between potato and pumpkin with a slight sweetness. Doused in olive oil and dressed with a garlic yogurt mojo sauce, it makes for a great side for fish and meat dishes. The tart yogurt and lemon give it a nice light taste while the potent raw garlic adds a ton of peppery flavour.

How do you like to prepare yuca?

1 small yuca (cassava root) peeled and cut into large even sized chunks
1 garlic clove finely minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C plain yogurt
1 Tbs lemon juice
olive oil
cilantro leaves

Add the yuca to a large pot of salted water and bring to boil. Boil until you can pass a fork through a piece of yuca. You want it cooked through, but you also don’t want to over cook it as it will lose its shape.

Mash the minced garlic and salt together to form a paste then add the yogurt and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

When the yuca is cooked, drain and dump into a bowl. Add copious amounts of olive oil while gently tossing until the surface of the yucca is slightly shiny. Plate the yuca and pour the yogurt mixture on top. Scatter some cilantro leaves on top and grind a little black pepper to finish.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Lol I thought Yucca was a houseplant. However we do have cassava chips here in NZ, they are really nice. Sounds like a highly interesting meal! The yoghurt sauce sounds delicious too, love the “mojo” name that it is given :)

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Lol I thought Yucca was a houseplant. However we do have cassava chips here in NZ, they are really nice. Sounds like a highly interesting meal! The yoghurt sauce sounds delicious too, love the “mojo” name that it is given :)

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    i’ve never heard of the yucca plant before, kinda looks like potatoish-tapioca. haha! what an interesting dish. i think the yoghurt must make it a very ‘cooling’ and refreshing one. pretty.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    i’ve never heard of the yucca plant before, kinda looks like potatoish-tapioca. haha! what an interesting dish. i think the yoghurt must make it a very ‘cooling’ and refreshing one. pretty.

  • http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com/ grace

    although i’ve heard of yuca, i’ve never tasted it. if it really is as you described, i don’t know what i’ve been waiting for–it sounds delicious! and that underlying possibility of death is always enticing…

  • http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com grace

    although i’ve heard of yuca, i’ve never tasted it. if it really is as you described, i don’t know what i’ve been waiting for–it sounds delicious! and that underlying possibility of death is always enticing…

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    I have never tasted it but always wanted to try! Lokks great.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    I have never tasted it but always wanted to try! Lokks great.

  • http://www.my-easy-cooking.com/ nina

    A very interesting bit of reading, but around here I have never heard of a yucca plant. I love your site, though. It is my first visit and I will be back for more.

  • http://www.my-easy-cooking.com nina

    A very interesting bit of reading, but around here I have never heard of a yucca plant. I love your site, though. It is my first visit and I will be back for more.

  • http://www.flanboyanteats.com/ Bren

    oh my gosh, yuca is my favorite starch, next to plantain. it’s amazing how many things u can make with it. lately, i’ve been making yuca fritters with a garlicky lemon dipping sauce to make you smack yo’ momma!!

  • http://www.flanboyanteats.com Bren

    oh my gosh, yuca is my favorite starch, next to plantain. it’s amazing how many things u can make with it. lately, i’ve been making yuca fritters with a garlicky lemon dipping sauce to make you smack yo’ momma!!

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  • http://www.openkyoto.com/ KyotoFoodieのPeko

    Ouu, I would like to try this recipe. No yuka in Kyoto, though!

  • http://www.openkyoto.com KyotoFoodieのPeko

    Ouu, I would like to try this recipe. No yuka in Kyoto, though!

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