Yuca Fries Made With Lard

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About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

Intro: Yuca Fries Made With Lard

Yuca is a starchy root that fries up beautifully.

Here's the short form of the yuca fries recipe:

Skin, chop into sticks, and parboil yuca for 15 - 20 minutes in salty water; drain

Fry in lard at 350 F until golden brown

I prefer using lard to industrially processed seed oil, such as corn, peanut, or canola oils, because I can render the lard myself and talk with the farmer who raised the pig about what it ate and how it lived. Plus, the fries just taste better fried in lard.

Step 1: Ingredients

Yuca and enough lard to fry it. The second image shows some of the yuca after peeling their skin.

Step 2: Render Lard

The fat shown here is from a Mangalitsa pig, a furry pig bred for sweet-tasting lard. We got the pig from Suisun Valley Farms, and Christy butchered the pig at home. We rendered the lard using the dry method, where the fat is chopped up and heated by itself. Rendering via the wet method, where the lard is boiled in water and skimmed off the top, apparently yields lard with a higher smoke point. Frying at 350 F, the lard didn't smoke, but next time we'll probably try the wet method.

This amount of fat yielded 6.7 L of lard, which serendipitously filled the fryer. It took a full day of chopping, simmering, and filtering to render this amount. Once the fat was chopped, we let it simmer and added more to be filtered or changed the filters about every 30 minutes.

Step 3: Parboil Yuca

Skin the yuca, cut it into sticks, and parboil it in slightly salty water.

I found that 15 minutes of cooking at a simmer yielded fries with a fluffy center. Boiling longer (20 minutes+) resulted in delicate strings on the surfaces of the sticks that fried up with plenty of crunch.

Step 4: Fill Fryer

6.7 L of lard filled the fryer to the minimum mark.

Step 5: Fry

We fried at 350 F, and waited for the oil to come back to temperature between batches. Frying took approximately 5 minutes to reach golden brown. After frying, the yuca was allowed to drip over the hot oil for a minute and then blotted on paper towels.

Step 6: Serve

We served the yuca fries with a lemon aioli, and with several other fried delicacies. When you've got hot lard, it's imperative to also fry brussel sprouts and plantains.

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    19 Discussions

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    tinaciousz

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Cuban approved! Lard is a staple in Cuban cooking. We put it on everything! You should taste what it does to bread. Cuban bread is my favorite part of visiting my parents in Miami. I'll have to try this recipe out!

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    faiza007

    4 years ago on Introduction

    "yucca" looks similar to tapioca root..is it the same thing?
    and these look so crispy..! i want some.. ;)

    3 replies
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    blkhawkfaiza007

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    No, it is not the same. Yucca is a flowering plant that may or may not be edible. However yuca, also known as tapioca, mandioca or cassava is totally different and it is shown in this pictures.

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    Mutazekfaiza007

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, it's the same, Tapioca is the starch of the Yucca (Also called, cassava, Manioc, Mandioca...)

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    blkhawk

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Yucca is not edible. I believe that you meant tapioca. Tapioca is called "yuca" in some Latin American countries.

    4 replies
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    Mutazekblkhawk

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That's right! But in some countries the Yucca flowers and roots are eaten often, but you have to know well the plant to be sure don't eat other variety.

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    blkhawkMutazek

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    The Wikipedia article says: "

    "Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many species also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems,and more rarely roots.
    References to yucca root as food often stem from confusion with the
    similarly pronounced, but botanically unrelated, yuca, also called cassava (Manihot esculenta)."

    The pictures in this project depict a tapioca or mandioca root.

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    krispunke

    4 years ago

    Yuca = tapioca. Yucca is not the same plant. It's a common misconception, but there are indeed two separate plants. Different varieties of the Yucca trees indigenous to the N. American deserts are more palatable than others (soaptree yucca has better tasting flowers than roots, etc) Nice thing about eating this while camping? Save a couple of roots to wash up with after eating the fries! :-D ^5, sharing this recipe. Thanks!

    1 reply
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    krispunke

    4 years ago

    * saponins, not sappopin. sorry.

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    krispunke

    4 years ago

    I'm in New Mexico, USA. Our state flower is the yucca, and it is edible. If you eat the fruits, you want them to be about halfway developed: full grown, they taste too soapy. (Yucca root & flowers contain enough sappopin to be used as a very mild soap!) This is also why the roots should be used quickly, rinsed thoroughly and cooked in a way that really gets them all the way through, as heat kills the chemical. :)

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    sunshiine

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Never tried them and we have a lot of yucca. Can you describe the flavor? I mean do they taste a lot like french fries? Thanks for sharing!

    sunshiine

    2 replies
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    ykyk

    4 years ago

    这好像是炸, 额,貌似你们看不懂中文吧?

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    Mutazek

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love Yucca!!! That's so typical from my country (Colombia), I like to eat it with some "Ají de Cilantro" or with "Hogao".... Yikes.. mouthwatering...