Yuca is a staple in many South American homes, especially in the coastal towns of the Andes and the tropics. Often it is used as a substitute for potatoes.
- 1 pound trimmed fresh yuca or frozen yuca
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
If using fresh yuca, you need to buy about 1½ pounds because of the trimming that has to be done. To peel, cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. With a sharp paring knife, cut lengthwise through the bark and the pink skin under the bark. Place the knife under the skin to loosen it and pull off the skin and bark. Rinse the yuca and place in cold water so it doesn’t discolor.
To cook, place fresh or frozen yuca in a 4-quart saucepan. Add salted cold water to cover by 2 inches and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. At this time, start testing with a fork; if it goes in easily, the yuca is done. The cooking time for each piece may vary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander, drain, and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and, using a paring knife, remove the fibrous cord in the center.