Jicama, pronounced “Hee-cah-mah,” is a Mexican root vegetable with a striking resemblance to a big brown turnip. Its exterior is made of a thick skin and is quite the contrast to its crisp and slightly sweet interior. It has a refreshing, juicy flesh that is sweet and crunchy and will remind you of water chestnuts.
How to Pick and Store Jicama:
When selecting jicama, make sure it is firm, heavy for its size, and unblemished. It should also not show any signs of shrivelling.
Unwashed jicama can be stored in an open or perforated bag for up to two weeks. For optimum taste, crunch, and texture, use within one week. Once it’s peeled and cut, it can be stored wrapped in the fridge for up to one week.
How to Prepare Jicama:
Jicama can be used in many dishes such as: soups (toss it in at the end so it retains its crunch), chicken salad, stir-frys (in place of water chestnuts), raw veggie trays, salads, thinly sliced on sandwiches, or even mashed, like a potato.
It can be cooked a variety of ways, steamed, baked, boiled, fried, or blanched to retain its crispness.
When ready to use, first scrub and then peel with a vegetable peeler or knife. Be sure to remove the white fibrous layer. Depending on what you are making with jicama, you can slice, dice, shred, or julienne.
Kary’s Jicama Tips:
- Once cut, drop it in some acidulated water to keep it from turning brown if you are not going to be using it right away.
- For every pound of whole jicama, you will get about three cups chopped.
- To add a little crunch to your salad, try adding shredded jicama.
- Jicama is diabetic-friendly. It’s low in starch, low in calories, low in sodium, and has no fat. It’s also high in fibre and Vitamin C.
- You can replace water chestnuts with jicama in a stir-fry recipe.
- Jicama is also a natural fit for Mexican cuisine and goes well with avocado, cilantro, cucumber and grapefruit.
Jicama goes well with:
Jicama goes really well with: acidic fruits and juices such as lime, lemon, and orange juice. You also may be surprised to know that it is complemented by ground red pepper and hot pepper sauce. It’s also a natural fit for Mexican cuisine and goes well with avocado, cilantro, cucumber and grapefruit.