Jicama 101 – The Basics

The humble jicama is one vegetable many people are not sure what to do with. It looks like a weird potato, yet is so very different and can be used in different ways than a potato. Whether it’s served raw or added to stir-fry combos, jicama is one vegetable to try.

It’s crunchy and mildly sweet and adds an interesting note to any dish it’s used in. I enjoy them raw and plain for a simple snack. They’re THAT good to me! I urge you to get brave and give them a try!

Below is a video where I talk about the basics of jicama…what they are, nutrition tidbits, how to use them, store them, prepare them, etc. I also have suggested recipes and links with interesting recipes included. Below the video are my discussion notes. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!

Jicama 101 – The Basics

About Jicama
Jicama is a root vegetable native to Mexico, Central and South America. It is often called a Mexican yam bean, Mexican turnip, or Mexican potato. The plant is so popular that it is now found all over the world. It has the appearance and texture similar to a potato, but the flesh is firm like a pear. The taste is mildly sweet with a slight apple flavor.

Nutrition tidbits
Jicama is low in calories (1 cup has 49 calories) but high in the soluble fiber inulin, which is important for our gut bacteria, bowel regulation, and might also help to control blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

Jicama also contains a lot of vitamin C, some potassium, and other nutrients.

How to select jicama
Look for ones that feel firm with little bruises or scaring on the surface. Avoid any with signs of mold.

Fresh vs frozen vs canned
Fresh jicama is what is commonly available. It is not available canned (to the best of my knowledge). Jicama can be frozen, but the starches in the vegetable may change, so fresh consumption is recommended.

How to store jicama
Store jicama in a cool, dry place. DRY is key here, because moisture will cause the vegetable to develop mold.

Once it is cut, wrap DRY jicama in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Use within 3 to 5 days.

How to prepare jicama
The skin, leaves, seeds and PEEL of jicama are toxic and NOT edible. So, remember to peel your jicama before using it in any dish. Cut off and wash only what you plan to use at the moment, leaving the remaining part completely dry. Wrap the remaining part in plastic and store it in the refrigerator.

Once peeled, cut the jicama into desired size pieces that you need…cubes, slices, matchsticks, etc. The cut pieces will not turn brown after cutting.

Cooking/serving methods
RAW: Jicama is delicious when used raw in salads and slaws. The faint apple flavor allows it to go well with assorted salad vegetables like carrots and onions, and fruits like oranges and apples. A favorite way to serve jicama in Mexico is to sprinkle chilled slices with chili powder, salt and lemon or lime juice.

Try adding jicama to your favorite fruit salad…the crunch and mild sweetness will only enhance the appeal of the salad!

Try making a jicama salsa by combining diced jicama, corn, tomatoes, black beans, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice and onion. Sounds yummy!

COOKED: Jicama goes well in stir-fries, offering the crunch of water chestnuts but with a mild sweetness. Jicama goes well with meats and seafood. Jicama can also be cooked on the grill or added to soups.

Jicama can be roasted! Place cubes on a baking pan. Preheat the oven to 400F. Sprinkle the jicama with olive oil, rosemary, parsley, and a little minced garlic; toss to coat the jicama pieces. Roast it for about one hour.

How to preserve jicama
Jicama must be kept dry to prevent the formation of mold. Once it is cut, wrap it tightly in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. Use as soon as possible, within 3 to 5 days.

Herbs/spices/flavorings that go well with jicama
Cilantro, onions, chili powder/peppers, lemon, lime, orange

Foods that go well with jicama
Lime, lemon, orange, assorted fruits, avocado, bell peppers, mangoes, cucumbers, carrots, jalapenos, black beans

Recipe links

Assorted recipes using jicama … https://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/essential-ingredients/jicama

Assorted (and imaginative!) ways to use jicama… https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-jicama

Jicama, Black Bean and Tomato Salad … https://producemadesimple.ca/jicama-black-bean-and-tomato-salad-2/

Orange Jicama Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing … https://producemadesimple.ca/orange-jicama-salad-with-lemon-ginger-dressing/

Jicama-Date Canapes https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Jicama-Date-Canapes-101763

Assorted ways to enjoy jicama … https://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Jicama

Jicama Salad … https://foodfacts.mercola.com/jicama.html

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