Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji

in Appetizers, Snacks

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

Last Friday I bought a $13 movie ticket, along with a small bag of $6 popcorn, and joyfully watched the new Jon Favreau movie, The Chef. I loved it! Sure, there were problems with the movie, like the relationship between him and Sofia Vergara (seems a little unrealistic) but whatever, I took the ride.

Not to give too much of the movie away but part of it was shot in South Florida, where I grew up the majority of my life and it made me miss home in a way I never do. I miss my family, but I rarely miss Florida. My meh-ness toward Florida can usually be summed up with one word: humidity.

Despite the excessive moisture in the air, Miami does have a vibrancy and energy that I really do love. And I love all the Latin people (and food) in South Florida. It made me want the food of my peeps. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with this Peruvian Aji.

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

If you go into a Peruvian restaurant, most likely it’ll be on every single table. We eat it with everything. The ingredients can be tough to find. There’s usually a bit of black mint and fresh aji amarillos peppers in the sauce. So, in order to make it as assessible, I altered the recipe below to be as United States-friendly as possible.

Aji amarillo past might be the toughest ingredient to find, though if you live near a Latin American market, it’ll most likely be there. It’s also online. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can always add a bit more jalapeño.

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

These fries can definitely be baked, if you’d like to skip the fry-step. I didn’t fry them in a deep pot of oil at all, just a few tablespoons. But feel free to finish them in the oven–they’ll just be slightly less crispy. And I’m a fan of crisp.

But really, the most important thing is the aji. It really is super important.

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji | www.acozykitchen.com

Yucca Fries with Peruvian Aji

Print this recipe!

Yucca Fries:
1 1/2 pounds yucca root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Vegetable oil
Sea salt

Peruvian Aji:
1 3/4 cups cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cubed queso blanco
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice from 1 lime,
Juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add the yucca matchsticks and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and allow to air dry thoroughly.

2. While the yucca is drying, let’s make the aji. In the jar of a blender, add the cilantro leaves, cubed queso fresco, mayonnaise, aji amarillo paste, garlic clove, juice from the lime and lemon and vegetable oil. Pulse until very smooth, starting and stopping the blender to scrape the sides of the blender as needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, add about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the yucca fries (you may have to fry these up in batches). Fry the yucca on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes each. Transfer to a bed of paper towels and place them in a warm oven, while you continue to fry up the remaining yucca. Sprinkle the yucca fries with a bit of salt and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve alongside the Peruvian aji.

Serves 2 (as an appetizer)

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ Life on Food May 23, 2014 at 3:58 am

My husband is all about going to see that movie. We need to get a date night soon before it leaves theaters.

Reply

Adrianna Adarme May 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

I think you gots some time–it just came out!

Reply

Billy May 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

I just want that aji, slathered on a burger or eaten with a spoon.

Reply

Adrianna Adarme May 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

It’s good on chicken. Or on a spoon.

Reply

sandra May 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

Never had yucca fries – would love to taste them! Thanks for the idea.

Reply

Allison May 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Ah I just saw that movie on Wednesday and loved it so much! I’m not even from Florida but it made me want to pick up immediately and head south (and across the country too!) These look delicious- I thinking earlier today about cooking something with yucca because of the movie haha.

Reply

Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm

I totally want to snack on these fries by the pool all weekend!

Reply

Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet May 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

I liked that film too; I think it would’ve been more fun if I’d had these fries in my lap while watching it.

Reply

Joanne T Ferguson May 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

G’day! Looks to be a delightful film and thanks for allowing me to learn something new today!!
Cheers! Joanne

Reply

Francesca May 24, 2014 at 3:37 am

Oh man, these *are* awesome. Whenever I go back to the states, I have a GIANT handful of these with a perfectly roasted do-they-put-crack-in-this-chicken? Peruvian Chicken.

Plus the delicious spicy mayo-side thing.

Air high five.

Reply

Christina @ but i'm hungry May 25, 2014 at 11:02 am

Thank you for this recipe! I always see yucca at the store, but have never bought any, though sorely tempted, because I didn’t know what to make with it. Problem solved. And OMG that aji….it looks like heaven.

Reply

Evelyn May 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I have a friend that is 110% Peruvian and I love her mom’s aji, but when I’ve seen her make it she throws in a glob of peanut butter! It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, I just never thought aji had peanut butter. Have you ever tried to make it using PB as an ingredient??

Reply

Lindsey @Piecemaker June 2, 2014 at 6:55 am

Ohhhh looks delish! Never heard of the Peruvian aji, thanks for sharing :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: