Peel, Cut, and Prepare Yuca for Cooking

  • 01 of 05

    Choose Firm Roots

    Yuca Root, Cassava, Manioc, Casabe, Tapioca
    Yuca Root, Cassava, Manioc, Casabe, Tapioca. Hector Rodriguez

    Select yuca roots (cassava) that are firm and have no blemishes or soft spots. The roots should have a clean fresh scent and snowy white center when cut open. Rotten or decaying roots have brown soft spots and a putrid smell.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Cut Yuca into Pieces

    Cut Yuca Into Pieces
    Cut Yuca Into Pieces. Hector Rodriguez

    To prepare yuca (cassava) for cooking, begin by cutting off the tapered ends. Then cut the root crosswise into manageable lengths that are approximately four to six inches long.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Peel Off the Yuca Skin

    Cutting off the bark-like peel from a yuca root.
    Cutting off the bark-like peel from a yuca root. Hector Rodriguez

    Stand the root pieces on end. Using a sharp knife, cut away the peel of the yuca root in strips until it's completely peeled.

    Note: A vegetable peeler is not recommended for peeling yuca (cassava) because the peel is very thick and usually covered in a protective wax coating.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Cut the Peeled Yuca Root in Half

    Cut the peeled yuca root (cassava) in half.
    Cut the peeled yuca root (cassava) in half. Hector Rodriguez

    Cut the peeled yuca root (cassava) in half lengthwise to expose the woody core. Then cut the yuca halves lengthwise in half again, so that the root is now quartered into lengthwise sticks with the core exposed.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Remove the Woody Core

    Coring a Yuca Root (Cassava)
    Coring a Yuca Root (Cassava). Hector Rodriguez

    Cut off the inner corner of each yuca wedge to remove the woody core and discard it. The yuca root (cassava) is now ready to cook in a recipe or store for future use.

    Tip: You may cook the yuca first, then remove the core. However, I always recommend removing the core before cooking.

    Note: Peeled cassava (yuca) can be stored in the refrigerator covered with water up to four days or you may freeze it for several months.

    Caution: Raw yuca root (cassava) should NEVER be eaten raw. It contains Prussic...MORE acid (hydrocyanic acid), which can cause cyanide poisoning. Thoroughly cooking the root removes the acid and makes it safe to eat.