Pronounced “HEE-kah-mah,” jicama enters the U.S. culture as both a vegetable and a fruit-like opportunity. A member of the legume family, it has nicknames like Mexican potato, yam bean root, and yam bean. It looks like a large, sometimes several pounds, oval potato with an excellent complexion. We eat the root; the rest of its plant is poisonous. Its crunchy, white flesh — visually resembling a raw potato – has a mild flavor which punches up with Mexican or Asian condiments. It’s probably most unique for its juicy, cleansing, crunchy texture similar to a fresh, juicy pear, apple or water chestnut.
Though the Spaniards introduced the jicama to Mexico and further to the Philippines, it didn’t take long to travel to China, Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Though the unusual root fit in well with Latin American condiments, it soon adapted to become a favorite with the Asian and Indian peoples, their condiments and local foods.
Gluten free jicama is high in fiber and vitamin C, A and B, plus calcium and phosphorus. It is low-calorie, low sodium and contain no fat.
Look for medium sized, firm and bruise-free jicamas, not sprayed with water. Store in a room-temperature, dark place but not in the refrigerator. Once peeled and cut, refrigerate it and consume within a week to ten days.
USES FOR JICIMA:
Due to its Mexican/Latin and Asian heritage, jicama is highly compatible with fresh lime juice, chili powder, cilantro or Mexican Tajín fruit seasoning. Its Asian transformation makes us also like it with oranges, red onion, gingerroot, soy sauce, fish sauce or sesame oil.
Steam, boil, mash or sauté, French fry it
Highly mandolin friendly for shoestring sticks and slender slices Water chestnut substitute
Jicama French fries
Slaws, salsas and salads (does not turn brown)
Website jicama recipes: