Yuca con Chicharrón is a Salvadorian dish consisting of boiled or fried yuca accompanied by, or topped with, raw cabbage salad, chicharron, spicy tomato sauce or chimol. Chicharrón is deep fried pork skins or pork belly which are added to the dish last. Yuca con Chicharrón is similar to the traditional Nicaraguan dish, Vigorón.
Yuca is also known as cassava, the same plant that tapioca is derived from. The yuca is the large edible root of the cassava plant. Yuca is very starchy and needs to be peeled and cut into pieces then boiled to be eaten. Boiling also makes the yuca easier to fry and it has a slightly sweet flavor.
Note that yuca and yucca are not the same thing. Yucca is a succulent flowering plant which is related to agave and used for landscaping purposes.
Chicharrón (pieces of pork) are fried until they are golden brown and very crispy. Chicharrón can be found in Spanish cooking in just about every Spanish-speaking country from Central to South America, Spanish Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico and of course Spain where it originated from.
Chimol is a condiment that is sometimes called a sauce but it more similar to a salsa. It’s made from tomatoes, hot peppers, onions and cilantro. It’s a popular accompaniment to Salvadoran food.
Yuca con Chicharrón isn’t always served with chimol, sometimes the entire dish is drizzled with a spicy tomato sauce. It is sometimes eaten by itself but it is often a side dish that accompanies a main dish.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Yuca is native to South America and has been a staple food since its domestication several thousand years ago. Chicharrón was introduced into the Americas by the Spaniards. Influeneces on El Salvadoran cuisine is no mystery. It is influenced by its Native American Indigenous groups, the Lenca and Pipils and then later the Spaniards.
- Cassava pieces, peeled and sliced – 1 lb
- Chicharrón (pork rind), cut into pieces – ½ lb
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Vegetable oil
- Tomatoes, peeled and diced - 2
- Onion, cubed - 1
- Green hot pepper , thinly sliced - 1
- Cilantro, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
- Lime juice – 4 tbsp
- Salt and Pepper - to taste
- Cabbage , grated – ¼ head
- Large carrot , grated - 1
- Onion , sliced thin – 1
- Oregano – 1 tsp
- Limes - 2
- Salt - to taste
- Wash the cassava pieces well.
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the cassava and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the chicharron. In a skillet, add the oil.
- When the oil is hot, fry the pork rind on both sides until all pieces are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
- Add the tomatoes, onion, hot pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl to make the chimol. Season with salt and pepper and add lime juice.
- Mix well, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Mix the grated cabbage, carrots, and onions.
- Add the oregano and juice of the limes. Season with salt and mix well.
- Assemble the yuca, top with chicharron, cabbage salad and chimol.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 594Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 1360mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 39g