This boiled yuca recipe (yuca hervida) from Costa Rica is a simple and versatile side dish and a staple ingredient in most Central American and Caribbean cuisine.
About This Recipe
Yuca roots are large tubers endemic to Central America and much of the world. It’s one of the oldest foods around- it’s filling and inexpensive.
Reading: how to cook boiled yuca
Many Latin American countries use yucca in their national recipes- Dominican yuca empanadas, yucca fries, yuca mash, yuca tamales, even Costa Rican enyucados- little cassava patties with cheese and fried until golden.
Cuban party food is not complete without yucca roots boiled and served with garlic and onions- same with Puerto Rico.
Yuca, also spelled yucca, is also called cassava. It’s a long, brown root vegetable with a very tough and waxy dark brown exterior shell. It grows to an almost spiky point at its base and is quite heavy and dense.
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You can generally find yucca in most grocery stores- I often find it at Kroger and Sprouts. Yucca does contain a bit of cyanide so it is best to cook it all the way through before serving (obviously).
To peel, you simply (ok it’s not that simple, it’s kind of a pain in the butt) chop off the top and the bottom. Then, create a long lengthwise cut through the tough brown exterior. From there, use a paring knife to remove the exterior. I then cut the yucca into pieces about 3-4 inches long. After boiling, it will separate itself into several longer pieces. You can then mash or fry the pieces if you want- like for Costa Rican yuca fries.
Our Most Popular Costa Rican Recipes:
- Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe
- Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe
- Super Easy and Delicious Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo Recipe
- Costa Rican Tamales Recipe
- Delightful Baked Costa Rican Empanadas de Chiverre
- Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe
Central American Boiled Yuca Recipe (Yuca Hervida)
Yield- About 2 cups boiled yuca
- 1 large yuca root, peeled and sliced into 3-4 in long chunks
- 4-6 cups water
- 2-3 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in your pot and bring to boil on high. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil, covered for 35-45 minutes, or until yucca is tender but not falling apart. The yucca will change in color from white to a light yellow.
Drain and serve as desired.
Instant Pot Instructions:
This is super easy to make in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Just put about 1/2 cup water in the bottom of your pot. Place yucca in the pot, then cover and cook on high pressure for 3-4 minutes. Allow pressure to release on its own before draining and serving.
This recipe is often served as a side dish alongside Costa Rican chicharrones (pork rinds), and chimichurri. It’s also part of the Costa Rican Vegetable Beef Soup (olla carne), and the Costa Rican vigorón salad. We often make them into Costa Rican yuca fries too!
Many people serve it with lime juice, or add garlic, olive oil and salt before serving. Even mashed with some butter is delicious. Of course, Costa Rican serve it with Salsa Lizano.
Where can I buy yuca? – I find it at most grocery stores like Walmart or King Soopers. Any Latin grocery will also have it.
How long does this keep? – Yuca keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
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