How do you cook cassava/yucca roots so they don't poison you?

I heard cassava/yucca roots can kill or poison a person if not cooked properly. I bought some frozen and I would like to make Yucca Fritas.


"The root cannot be consumed raw, since it contains free and bound cyanogenic glucosides which are converted to cyanide in the presence of linamarase, a naturally occurring enzyme in cassava. "

So I'm just wondering how to cook it properly - how long should it be boiled, at what temperature (if applicable), do you have to boil before frying it, how do you know it's done, etc. Some Latin American and African recipes would be nice too.

Update 2:

So nobody here knows about cooking cassava/yucca? Too bad, I have been facinated by this root, and it is quite tasty. It has a similar 'danger' element to me as blowfish, though less risky. Recipes, tips, anyone?

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello xicanaocelotl,

    I have certainly cooked cassava from frozen many times.

    I have seen the brown fresh hard waxy cassava but its too messy to cook with coz of the wax. it is easy to buy the frozen packets. After being harvested, the fresh cassava will not last long and will store in the refrigerator for up to 1 to 2 days, but slightly longer for 3 to 4 days, when kept in a cool dry area.

    Yes, it is believed that the roots and leaves of those poorly processed cassava plants do contain a substance that, when eaten, can trigger the production of cyanide.

    Its true, that in eg. in Africa, improperly processed cassava is a major problem and is associated with many cyanide-related health disorders, especially amongst people who are already malnourished.

    The cassava’s toxic content, is effectively reduced if the cassava is proper processed ie. drying, soaking in water, rinsing or baking – effectively.

    When shortcut techniques are used to hurry production of large amounts of food in a shorter time especially during famines, the result is many toxic food products are made. If there was a way to remove the cyanide then there would be no need to process the cassava. Life would not only be easier but many lives would not be put at risk or even lost.

    Cassava is most commonly used to make make tapioca, tapioca flour, pancakes, and snack chips and ofter referred to as Yuca Root (not the non-edibel plant), Manioc, Manihot, Mandioca, and Eddoes.

    The processed foods that we have are usually thoroughly processed for marketing purposes. I have never worried about this and I boil the cassava for as long as it takes the food to be tender. Normal water boils at 100 degrees centigrade. This is sufficient to eradicate any toxins if present at all.

    So dont worry so much about the toxins, dry roast or just boil at whatever tempreture the water reaches and it should be suffice.

    So...where were we.? ok...defrosting ....

    After defrosting the roots/ tuber, cut into equal pieces, which will allow you to make chips with it. Infact the tuber is treated like a potato.

    Boil the cassava roots in pan, filled with salty water.

    Cook until they are soft enough to be poked with a knife. the knife should pierce the heart of each piece easily without force.

    The texture will change from a white opaque to a sticky - almost creamy/white colour.

    Remove the pieces and allow to dry and cool. Cut into whatever shape you squares or long finger-like chips.

    In a deep pan, add oil and cook as you would chips, until golden brown.

    Serve with sprinked salt and pepper / chilli powder and lemon juice. But you can serve it as you like.

    Alternatly, cook the cassave and mush the mixure and form small balls. deep-fry as you would chips.

    Once boiled, you can eat it boiled. Add it to stews, soups

    Or in a pan , heat oil and add chillis and ginger and tomatoes. cover and cook u it tomatoes are tender, add the cassava and enough water to just cover the pieces. season to taste. cover with a lid and simmer gently on a low flame untile the sauce has thickened.

    serve whilst hot and with/without bread or nan-bread or chappati (flat indian bread).

    I dont know what Fritas are but the cassava once boiled, is certainly not harmful.

    Good luck and enjoy the food.

    • Victor6 years agoReport

      Yuca today, found in stores and the ones allowed to be planted by the Agricultural Departments of different countries, only allow the non-poisonous kind. Just peel the skin off, and boil. Add salt to taste to the water at the beginning. When cooked or done eat like a potato, for it is very starchy.

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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Modern People Paleo Cookbook -
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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    How do you cook cassava/yucca roots so they don't poison you?

    I heard cassava/yucca roots can kill or poison a person if not cooked properly. I bought some frozen and I would like to make Yucca Fritas.

    Source(s): cook cassava yucca roots don 39 poison you:
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  • 4 years ago

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  • 7 years ago

    Cassava is yuca. Yucca is a different plant.

    • paul, paul5 years agoReport

      But the plant cassava is known as yuca in Spanish-speaking countries. You are correct that it is a different plant than the Yucca found in the Southwest of the USA, but just know that folks in, say, Ecuador, call it yuca , not cassava.

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  • 6 years ago

    There are two types of Cassava in Trinidad and Tobago one is Sweet Cassava and the other is Bitter Cassava the bitter cassava can be poisonous, once it is processed and the starch removed the flour can be made into cassava bread or Farine/ Farina.

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  • 5 years ago

    Always peel, cut up and boil yucca between 20-30 minutes prior to frying,baking. This removes the harmful ingredient in the raw roots.

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  • 5 years ago

    Fresh yucca. Soak in water, then boil in the water. Then dump the water. The water may have turned sort of purple-black. Now you can cook the yucca normally - boil, deep fry, etc.

    The frozen yucca is usually already peeled and pre-processed, so you can skip the first step.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I was born and raised in the Philippines, We have eaten Cassava roots all the time. It's not something you can pull out of the ground and eat raw, I wouldn't, and I have never heard of anyone dieing form them. There re many ways to cook them, you just have to be ingenious when you do. You can make candy out of it, cakes, cookies, dumplings, and snacks for the kiddos.

    Take the waxy skin off the outside, clean and boil until tender and eat. You can grate the root, to a coconut texture, roll it into small balls, draining the water from it, and deep fry. Kids love this. You can cook it in coconut milk, and mash like a potato, this is real good as well. There are many ways to cook them, they are all good. The internet has a few, you just have to search the recipes.

    • Usually, we develop immunity from it being exposed to the food when prepared improperly. Since out body can resist the poison, we usually secret or vomit the poisonous parts/chemicals. The food we eat together with the improperly cooked/prepared cassava helps cleans our body of the toxin.

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  • 7 years ago

    I am in Colombia and made Cassava by boiling it

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  • celena
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How To Cook Yucca

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