In Season: How to Buy, Prepare and Cook Jicama


Jicama also known as Mexican Potato or Mexican Turnip is the tan root of a tropical vine. Jicama is an edible root that looks like a turnip, native from Central America and can grow up to 5 pounds. Its shape reminds a turnip and its light off-white skin must be peeled before use. The flesh is white and crisp, like raw potato or an unripe pear, it’s also sweet. It reminds a mix between water-chestnut and pear. Jicama is excellent for eating raw in salads, but you can also eat it as a snack, simply sliced.

Buying and storing Jicama

You can easily find jicama all year-round in the fresh vegetable and fruit areas of your grocery market or Latin American stores. Look for firm specimens that are compact and weight a bit heavy comparing to their size. Select roots that are firm and dry. Jicama’s skin shouldn’t look shriveled, blemished or scratched. Store them in a cool and dry place like your fridge as it will keep there for as long as a month. Some purists prefer to keep them at room temperature though.

How to prepare Jicama

Jicama is delicious both raw and cooked, it adds a great crunch to your stir-fries ans salads as well. Peel it with a vegetable peeler or a good paring knife. Then you can chop, slice, shred, or cut the flesh into cubes or strips. One good thing is that jicama doesn’t blacken or get soggy after cutting, thus it makes a great addition to tomato, cucumbers, other crudités and salads.

How to cook jicama

Without any doubt, jicama is best raw. But like other root vegetable, it goes well with broiling, sautéing or stir-frying. It’s done when hot at the core and still crunchy. No need to overcook it.

Jicame recipes

Find some good recipes here:


(Photo: clayirving)

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