Delicious crispy cassava fries, cooked to perfection in the air fryer – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is the perfect snack or side. Like chips, it is easy to make and can be eaten with your favourite sauce or dip.
What Is Cassava?
Cassava - Manihot esculenta, is a tropical root commonly eaten in West Africa, Caribbeans, South America and some South East Asian countries. The other common name for cassava is yuca. It is also called manioc, mogo and teni depending on the part of the world you are from.
Cassava is a long thin root with rough brown skin and edible white flesh. When boiled, it has a slightly nutty and vaguely bitter taste, with a texture similar to African yam.
Cassava In African Cooking
In the West African region, cassava is one of those plants where both the roots and the leaves are consumed. It is a major staple food in the area. However, cassava roots contain a toxin known as cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause poisoning if eaten raw. Therefore, it must be peeled and cooked or processed by fermenting to get rid of the toxins before consumption.
Cassava is a cornerstone food ingredient in Africa. The leaves are cooked with meat and fish into a stew called pondu, mpondu, saka saka etc. The roots are processed, usually by grating, soaking, fermenting and boiling into different cassava recipes, which include cassava starch, tapioca, garri (Nigeria, Ghana, Republic of Benin), fufu (or foufou across the region), abacha (Nigeria), attieke (Ghana), Chikwangue (Togo), elubo lafun (Nigeria) etc.
How To Make Cassava Fries In An Air Fryer
Here are the ingredients you need...
A few notes about the ingredients;
- Spices: I used mixed herbs, garlic and pepper flakes, but you could use your preferred spices here. You can be adventurous with the spices or keep it simple with just salt and pepper.
Crispy Air Fyer Cassava Fries Recipe
Cut off the two ends of the cassava and remove the thick skin with a knife.
Cut in halves lengthways, then cut the halves into quarters. Next, remove the fibrous stem (string-like) in the middle of the cassava. Cut into batons and wash. The batons should be chunky – if you cut them too thin, they will dry out in the air fryer and become very hard.
Pour into a pot with enough water to cover. Add some salt to taste. Boil for 20 mins. Remove the cassava from the liquid.
Mix the mixed herbs, garlic and pepper flakes with the oil in a bowl. Add the cassava into the bowl and toss gently or mix with your hands, so the cassava batons are covered in the spices.
Set the air fryer to 1800C. Spread out the cassava in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Don’t add too much, as this could cause the cassava to steam, rather than fry, leading to soggy chips.
When the cassava fries are crisp and starting to brown, take one out and check that it is fully cooked inside. Then, take out of the air fryer. Cooking time should be about 10 – 15 mins.
Repeat the steps until all the cassava chips are cooked.
If the first batches of fries become cold, you can reheat by pouring all the chips back into the air fryer at once for a few minutes to warm up before serving.
Cosori Air Fryer is a mid-priced family size air fryer with great functionalities and ease of use.
Recipe FAQ & Notes
Yes, you can cook frozen cassava. Add to a pot of water and cook the same way you would cook fresh cassava. It may take a little longer. If you have excess cassava, freezing is an excellent way to preserve it – just peel, and cut into batons, lay out on a flat plate to freeze, and then pack in a freezer bag. You can then take out what you need the next time.
Boiling helps to remove the cyanogenic glycosides present in the cassava as it leaches into the water. Therefore, frying from raw will cause considerably less toxin to be removed than boiling.
Sometimes big stores like Tesco and Asda have cassava in their ethnic aisles; otherwise, you can buy them in African, Caribbean or Asian shops.
Sure! If you don’t have air fryer, you can cook the fries in an oven or deep fry. To cook in the oven, just spread out on a single layer in the tray like you would in the air fryer. Cook at 1900C for 30 – 40 mins.
Crispy Air Fryer Cassava Fries
- 2 Cassava
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons Sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon Mixed herbs
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Pepper flakes
- Cut off the two ends of the cassava and remove the thick skin with a knife.
- Cut in halves lengthways, then cut the halves into quarters. Next, remove the fibrous stem (string-like) in the middle of the cassava.
- Cut into batons and wash. Pour into a pot with enough water to cover. Add some salt to taste. Boil for 20 mins. Remove the cassava from the liquid.
- Mix the mixed herbs, garlic and pepper flakes with the oil in a bowl. Add the cassava into the bowl and toss gently or mix with your hands.
- Set the air fryer to 180°C. Spread out the cassava in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- When the cassava fries are crisp and starting to brown, take one out and check that it is fully cooked inside. Then, take out of the air fryer. Cooking time should be 10 – 15 mins.
- Repeat the steps until all the cassava fries are cooked.