This root vegetable, usually weighing in around one to two pounds, is hearty and round in nature. Pronounced HEE-kah-ma, the tuber is native to Mexico and is also known as the Mexican Turnip or Mexican Potato. Jicama has a thick brown skin which requires peeling before eating. The inside of the vegetable is white, firm, and wet, similar to that of an uncooked potato or water chestnut. Most often served raw, jicama can be found in dishes such as salads, slaws, and salsas.
Boasting a refreshing, slightly sweet flavor and a crisp texture, jicama can add a natural crunch to recipes without additional heat or oil. Much like a turnip or daikon, jicama adds body and heartiness while keeping an overall lighter feel. When purchasing jicama at the store, look for a firm touch and dry, non-yellowed skin as this could indicate bruising. This vegetable is likely to be found in most Latin American grocery stores and chain grocery stores.
Storage and Usage
Keep this tuber in a cool, dark, and dry spot in your kitchen to maintain freshness. Once cut, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Since the vegetable is not usually cooked, prep variation comes in the form of slicing and cutting. Jicama can be thinly sliced with a mandolin for slaws or diced into cubes for salsas. Try cutting jicama into matchsticks and letting them rest in a quick pickling liquid for a flavorful salad addition later on.