Also known as cassava, yuca is a starchy root vegetable native to Brazil. Like a potato, it’s tastiest when fried. (But what isn’t?) These days, yuca can be found at many supermarkets and at Latin American grocery stores. Boiling the yuca before frying removes some of the starch, which prevents it from burning.
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1.5 kg (3.3 lb) firm yuca
Peanut or canola oil for frying
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Peel the yuca and cut it in half crossways. Chop into ½-inch thick strips.
Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high. Add yuca, reduce heat to medium and boil for 15 minutes. (This step can be done a day ahead of time – just cover the blanched yuca with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge.)
Meanwhile, fill a large pot halfway with peanut or canola oil and heat over medium-high heat until 365 F.
(It’s hot enough when you add a small cube of bread and it browns within 60 seconds.) Working in batches, fry yuca until golden and crispy on the outside (about 3 to 4 minutes). Transfer the fries to a paper-towel-lined tray and sprinkle with sea salt.
To make the garlic-lime mayo, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, lime zest and lime juice.
Serve with the garlic-lime mayo.