Jicama is a starchy root vegetable that’s similar to a potato. While popular in Mexico and Central and South America for years, jicama is gaining traction elsewhere. A versatile, nutritious food, jicama is also interesting in texture.
Jicama tastes slightly sweet with a nutty flavor. It tastes somewhat like a mix of apple, pear, potato, and water chestnut. It has a crunch, moist and crisp texture, similar to an apple.
While that may sound overpowering, none of the flavors are particularly strong and it’s a fairly mild, subtly flavored vegetable. And like tofu and eggplant, it’s good at absorbing the flavors of other foods.
The best way to describe the texture of jicama is probably by comparing it to an apple. It’s a little watery and has a nice crisp, crunch to it.
Similar to a potato, you can boil or roast it to get a softer texture. However, it’s more common to eat the jicama hard and crunchy than it is to attempt to soften it up.
What To Do With Jicama
If you’ve never used jicama before you might be at a loss for how to use this adaptable food. While it can be used in many ways, it’s often used as a savory or citrusy dish as opposed to sweet.
One of the most popular dishes is jicama french fries. They are made just like you would make french fries with potatoes. And since they have a similar texture to french fries, they are a great substitute that is more nutritious.
Another popular way is to eat it by itself. Since it takes on the flavors of whatever it’s with, it’s popular to dredge it in spices and eat it alone. This way you can make any flavor you like, but spicy jicama is fairly popular.
Using it to make a coleslaw-type dish is also common. You can grate the jicama and mix it with vinegar, cilantro, lime juice, and spices. This produces a nice refreshing, crisp side dish.
Jicamas are vegetables that taste slightly sweet with a nutty flavor. However, it has a very mild and subtle flavor. It’s unlikely you’ll get a sweet-tasting jicama, you’ll just get some vague hints of sweetness.
What jicama is good at though, is absorbing the flavors of other foods. This is an easy way to customize everyone’s food to their exact specifications.
If you want to try jicama, they aren’t always available in your local grocery store. Try looking at farmer’s markets and specialty stores if you can’t find any.