Sous Vide Crispy Yuca Fries with Aji Cream

The foods of Brazil are varied and full flavored based on culinary influences from the European, West African, Portuguese and American settlers. As it’s the largest land mass in South America it’s culinary style varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's rich mix of native and immigrant populations.

According to the culinary eggheads it was originally the Portuguese that settled Brazil way back in the 1500’s. At that time the principle foods enjoyed by the populace were the abundant fish from the ocean and lakes, wild game, jungle fruit and manioc. Now that last one, manioc, might be unfamiliar to many but I can honestly say you probably have had it in one way, shape or form in your past. The bubbles in bubble tea, well made fruit pies, and the classic tapioca pudding. All of those and so many more use Tapioca which is made from ground cassava root or manioc AKA, wait for it, yuca! 

Yucca Fries

This adaptation of Brazils’ classic, Yucca Frita uses two specialized techniques, one your obviously familiar with is sous vide but unlike previous recipes we are cooking the prepared yuca vacuum packed in a brine that is then cooked sous vide. This technique offers a wonderful flavor enhancer as the yuca fries are not only being cooked but seasoned at the same time in the vacuum bag which also helps prevent breaking the now delicate cooked yuca fries.
The second is one that we haven’t yet touched on here, is called vacuum drying. Vacuums are often used as a process for removing bulk and absorbed water (or other solvents) from products in food service and manufacturing. After draining from the brine it’s important to dry the yuca as much as possible before frying. The less water on the surface of the yuca allows the fries to crisp more evenly and faster not to mention the chaos of water and hot oil. By placing the cooked yuca in a VacMaster chamber machine either on a plate, pan or better yet a cooling rack and then pulling a vacuum does the trick. The falling pressure inside the chamber will cause liquid on the surface of the yuca to quickly evaporate, consequently cooling the yucca and drying out the surface which will create crisper yuca fries.

Yucca Fry

Our addictive sauce is made from, aji amarillo. Aji translates to chili pepper in Spanish, while amarillo means yellow. This medium spicy and almost fruity chili pepper is considered by many to be the most important ingredient in most of South Americas’ cooking. As it adds a unique, bright complex flavor as well as its distinctive yellow/orange color to anything you’re preparing. Simply blended with mayonnaise and sour cream with a bit of salt and lime juice for seasoning this cream is the classic and prefect accompaniment to our crispy yuca fries.


• 2 pounds yuca

For the cooking brine:

• 6 cups water

• 1 tablespoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• Oil for frying

• 1/4 cup parsley, flat leaf, coarsely chopped

• Kosher salt, fine grind

For the Aji Cream:

• 3 tablespoons aji amarillo, powder, or to taste

• 3/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise, see recipe or favorite brand

• 1/4 cup sour cream

• 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste

• Kosher salt, to taste 


Aji Cream Ingredients

Cut Yucca

Yucca in vacuum bag

Vacuum Sealed Yucca


1. Preheat the water bath of the VacMaster SV1 to 185°F/85°C.

2. Cut the tips from the yuca root and then cut in half or thirds depending on the size of the root.

3. Place the cut side down on a sturdy cutting board and using a chef knife cut the peel from the root being careful not to cut too deeply into the flesh.

4. Cut the peeled pieces in half lengthwise and again to have four pieces.

5. With a small paring knife cut the tip of the triangular inside edge of each of the four pieces to remove the woody stem and discard

6. Cut the halved pieces again lengthwise into half-inch strips and repeat with remaining yuca

7. In a medium sized mixing bowl dissolve the salt, sugar and baking soda in the water.

8. Using the VacMaster Bag Filler and appropriate sized VacMaster bag(s) add the prepared yuca and top off with the brine.

9. Using a VacMaster Chamber machine vacuum-seal the bag(s).

10. Place the sealed bag on a flat surface and try to space the yuca fries in one even layer.

11. Gently place the vacuum sealed yuca in the SV1 and cook until very tender, but still holding their shape, about 60-90 minutes.

12. Carefully pour out the hot brine from the bag and discard, gently remove the yuca, let cool and dry

13. Lay them out on a wire rack to cool and dry, making sure they don’t touch each other.

Optional Vacuum Drying:

1. Place a suitable sized cooking rack of the fries into the chamber of a VacMaster chamber machine and pull one or two vacuums or until the surface of the yuca is dry.

2. The falling pressure inside the chamber will cause water at the surface of the yuca to evaporate, cooling the fries and drying out the surface allowing for a crisper yuca fry.

For Frying:

1. Set up a deep fryer according to the manufacturer’s directions or using a large heavy bottomed pot outfitted with a deep fry thermometer heat the frying oil to 266°F/130°C.

2. Working with small batches, fry the yuca, for about eight minutes or so, or until the surface begins to dry and firm up achieving a light brown color.

3. Remove the yuca from oil and allow to cool, laying them out on a wire rack to dry and repeat with remaining yuca.

4. When all of the yuca is fried increase the heat to 375°F/190°C

5. Fry the yuca again for about three minutes, or until the surface is a dark golden brown and the crust is dry and crisp, repeat with remaining yuca.

6. Season with the hot yuca with finely ground salt, chopped parsley and Aji Cream on the side.

For the Aji Cream:

1. In a small bowl add a few tablespoons of cold tap water to the powdered aji and blend to a thin paste, let sit 30 minutes or so to completely hydrate.

2. In a medium sized mixing bowl blend the mayonnaise with the sour cream and salt until smooth.

3. Add as little or as much of the aji puree to taste and season with the lime juice.

4. Use as needed right away or vacuum pack and refrigerate for use at another time. 

Vacuum drying

Fried Yucca

Aji Cream