Yuca with Garlic Sauce (Yuca con Mojo)

Yuca on table
Martin Paul / Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (4)

This is my version of yuca con mojo — yuca with garlic sauce. It's a delicious vegan Cuban dish, a combination of citrus, onions, garlic, spices and — of course — yuca. It's a tasty alternative to potatoes as a side dish — in fact, yuca has been called the "better" white potato by those who are familiar with it.

A staple of the Caribbean diet and it's very popular in African and Asian cuisine, this tuber is usually available in large U.S. grocery stores as well, either fresh or frozen. You might have to hunt for it a bit, however — it's also sometimes called cassava, manioc or good old American tapioca, so you may want to look for it under these other names. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 ½ pounds yuca, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 to 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Orange wedges for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Boil the yuca in salted water until it becomes tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the yuca and place it in a serving dish. Set it aside, but keep it warm. Don't allow it to come back to room temperature while you make the garlic sauce. 
  3. Combine the onions, orange juice, lime juice, cilantro and garlic in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the yuca.
  4. Heat the olive oil, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper in a heavy pan until hot. Pour the hot oil over the yuca.
  1. Garnish with orange wedges.

Tips and Variations 

  • You can use fresh or frozen yuca in this recipe. Fresh yuca should be firm with no soft spots. Its flesh should be white. 
  • If you buy fresh yuca, watch out for any tough parts in the center. They'll appear like chunks of wood. Remove and discard them. 
  • Peel fresh yuca by removing the ends first. Then cut it crosswise into thick slices, skin intact. The slices can be up to 6 inches. Stand the "slice" upright, on end, and cut the peel away with a sharp knife, taking care to leave as much of the flesh as possible. A standard vegetable peeler won't work because a yuca's skin is very thick and waxy, the result of a protective coating applied before shipping. After you've peeled the yuca, you can cut it into thinner slices. 
  • You can peel the yuca ahead of time and store it in water in the refrigerator for up to four days, or you can freeze it for several months. 
  • If the yuca cools off too much while you're making the sauce, you can microwave it very briefly, up to 5 seconds or so.