Daily Dinner Table

Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.

Yuca or Taro Chips (No, not tarot cards!)

Notice!!! I made a mistake!  Ok, I posted this a few hours ago, re: taro chips.   I made YUCA chips. Yuca is not yucca. They are 2 separate plants. Yuca is a root, yucca is a large cactus type plant, actually in the Asparagaceae family, sub family of Agavoideae (Agave). Yuca is  in the botanically unrelated family also called Cassava. . Although Yuca and Taro  ARE different, they still can be used virtually the same ways. They are both similar to potatoes, but with more nutrients. They BOTH NEED TO BE BOILED OR SOAKED PRIOR TO EATING. There’s been lots of chatter about Taro  & Yuca roots lately.  In fact, Dr. Oz featured taro chips on his show today. Which sparked my memory that hey, I’ve made those kind of  chips! I’ll post it on Daily Dinner Table!  You may be asking, what the heck is yuca and taro?  They are roots. Taro has  three times the fiber of a potato, an excellent source of potassium, it’s got some calcium, vitamin C, E, B, magnesium, manganese and copper. Yuca  is very rich in starch, contains a significant amount of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Wow! On the downside,Taro has high levels of oxalates, which can cause various illnesses so you need to be careful with your preparation before eating it. Raw Yuca contains two cyanogenic glucosides, linamarin and lotaustralin, which according to Wikipedia is a naturally occuring enzyme, liberating hydrogen cyanide. There are two types of Yuca, Sweet and bitter. According to Wikipedia, the smaller rooted, sweet variety, cooking is sufficient to eliminate all toxicity. I would venture to say, better safe than sorry, and soak the Yuca for 24 hours after it’s been peeled.   NEVER eat  Yuca or Taro raw. Eating these raw can have severe consequences. So, why would anyone want to eat these roots? When  properly prepared, they’re great ! They can be prepared in a variety of ways, similar to a potato. Taro is  very low on the glycemic index and really, if you do a few simple steps first, there’s nothing to worry about.

In my “research”, I couldn’t find any sources that state you need to pre-cook or soak the taro root if you’re frying it, as in chips, and I also found that with  the smaller, sweet variety of Yuca, simple cooking is enough to expel all toxins.  But, just to be sure, I’d soak it anyway. I’m a safety nut.

The pre-preparation for taro and yuca , is simple. Fill a pot with cold water, sprinkle in a little salt and baking soda.  Scrub and peel the taro root. Soak overnight, yuca for 24 hours. Discard the water, rinse the roots.  There, you’re set. The water, salt and soda draw the oxalates and cyanide out of the root, and you’re ready to go.

I made chips. They were delicious. They tasted a tad nutty, and had a nice texture, similar to potato chips, but more dense, and more texture. The whole family enjoyed them.

I have a Fry Baby or Daddy, some member of the family! I don’t fry often, so I don’t know what the heck it’s called. But I DO like the safety features of it.  If you don’t have a frying machine, use a large frying pan, or a deep pot. Most of all,  be careful with your hot oil.

Here’s what you need:

Taro or Yuca Root, scrubbed, peeled, soaked overnight or 24 hours respectively.

Slice the root either in chip form with a mandoline or slice into fries if you’d rather.

canola oil to fill your fryer to recommended level

Kosher salt

pepper

Tony Legner’s Cat 5 Food Polish if you’d like some heat

Here’s what to do.

After soaking Taro root  overnight, slice in desired thickness. Place on paper towel to remove any excess moisture, pat the top dry also.

soaked chips prior to frying

Place oil that is recommended for high heat, such as canola, or peanut oil in frying receptacle, and heat the oil to 375 degrees.

Place the chips CAREFULLY into the oil in small batches, so the chips/fries don’t crowd. Keep a close eye on them, they may need turning. Take them out  with a large slotted spoon, or spider utensil when they reach a golden color. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle seasonings on them while still hot and have a tiny bit of oil still on them.

Experimenting. Both the light and darker chips are good. Try all kinds and find your fave.

I hope you give taro & yuca a try. They’re great mashed too, prepare like potatoes, but make sure you pre soak.  Boiling the taro for 15 minutes, then rinsing well is sufficient also.

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3 comments on “Yuca or Taro Chips (No, not tarot cards!)

  1. KMM
    April 30, 2016

    Is Polvilho azedo high in oxalates? I believe it is casssava starch. I want to use it as a grain substitute, but cannot find the oxalate info anywhere. Thank you

  2. Mardell Ramey
    September 13, 2013

    I just fried both. I did not soak before I peeled them. After peeling and slicing I rinsed several times to remove the starch that came off the taro especially. Just as you would do if making French fried potatoes. Dried both and when dry fried in 375 degree oil. Usually, took around 3 minutes to brown around the edges. I especially love these because they stay crisp unlike potatoes. My husband and I finished them off before we went to bed. No after effects, no tummy upsets. Even one of my cats like them!

    • barbaralandfair
      September 13, 2013

      Great! I’m happy you enjoy them! It’s been a while since I’ve had them…. now you’ve made me hungry for them!

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This entry was posted on July 16, 2012 by in side dish, snack, vegetable, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , .
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