Friday, October 3, 2008

What is Jicama?

Many of you may already know what jicama is, may already know how to correctly pronounce it, and my have actually had some contact with it. If that’s the case, congratulations on your acquired knowledge and worldliness--you are more than welcome to skip this next part. For those of you still clueless, here are a few clues: Jicama is: a) a tropical island in the southwestern part of the Caribbean b) a rare skin disease that turns the bottoms of your feet purple c) a popular spicy stew prevalent in Portugal d) an edible root, originally cultivated in South America The correct answer (and it should be no surprise for those familiar with my plethora of posts about diet and nutrition) is “d.” Jicama is a tasty, crispy, root vegetable, cultivated in South America for centuries. It is amazingly versatile, easy to prepare, and healthy for you. If you would like to learn how to pronounce jicama, or are just tired of reading, watch this video: Also known as the Mexican turnip or potato, jicama is used in many recipes south of the border. Its unique taste (a cross between an apple, potato, and water chestnut) and texture (crisp and smooth) make it one versatile veggie. Enjoy jicama: * raw, in sweet, fruit salads, or lettuce-based salads * sliced or Julienned to use with a dip * plain, eaten as a snack (squeeze of lime, some hot sauce) * diced and added to savory dishes: stews, soups, stir-fry * mashed as a side dish Once you taste jicama, you will ask yourself why you waited so long to try it. And more good news: it is loaded with fiber. One cup has about 6 grams of fiber, around 1 gram of protein, and contains less than 50 calories. Jicama is also an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium. Simple to prepare, you peel jicama like a potato, using either a peeler or paring knife, removing the fibrous skin. From there, depending on how you want to eat it, it can be easily sliced, diced, Julienned, or mashed. Like my late discovery of the avocado, I did not taste my first jicama until I was well into my twenties, thus missing out on years of epicurean enjoyment. Don't let this happen to you. The next time you’re cruising the produce section of your grocery store, look for jicama, and grab a couple. The good news: Jicama is not a rare skin disease that turns the bottom of your feel purple, but a versatile, nutritious, and fun vegetable that will delight you with its unique taste. Until next time… peace, Mike

41 comments:

Anna said...

Jicama is something I've wanted to try since it was a prevalent ingredient in one of the episodes of Top Chef! They described the flavor and texture and it sounds great...time to get to the store and check it out firsthand!

Dr. Nicole said...

It really is quite good. It is just a matter of finding the right thing to dip it in for most people. I like it plain though or chopped up and added to other things. Thanks for writing about this!

Eric S. said...

Sounds interesting Mike. Is it readily available in most grocery store? I like to try new things, and this sounds good.

Lux said...

My beans tried that once - they're in the grocery stores here in southern New Mexico. It does have an interesting taste. I've told them they must try it again now! ;-)

Yale Zeuqsalev said...

In Philippines, it is called "singkamas" and it's prevalent in Summer. When I was conceiving my first born my first craving was Jicama and it was not readily available in UAE where I was then : )

Mike Foster said...

anna: I think you will be plesantly surprised

doc nicole: the flavor is a bit plain, so dip does help...though I like it all by itself

eric: I find it out here in Califoria, and the one I used for this post were bought at my local farmer's market...good luck!

lux: very interesting...

yale: I was craving some and I'm not even pregnant


peace,

Mike

Kelly said...

I've always wondered what jicama was, how to prepare it and what it tastes like! Thanks!!

~Kelly
http://www.30somethingandsearching.today.com/

m said...

I am always looking for, healthy foods! A very thorough introduction. Thank you!

betchai said...

When I first saw Jicama in the supermarkets here, I got excited since it looks like our "singkamas" in the Philippines. I bought it, and I was correct, the texture and the taste is the same, so, I did not bother to find out how Jicama is pronounced correctly :( coz I would call it in my mind "singkamas". :) in the Philippines, we eat it raw, or we dipped in vinegar and a little bit of salt or soy sauce (we mostly eat anything with vinegar or lime juice) , soups and stir fry, all those that you mentioned. It is very good with stir-fried clear-glass noodles (or vermicilli noodles). I have not tried it mashed though. But of course, my favorite is eating it raw :), like how I eat apple.

Jennifer said...

Jicama is delicious. So tasty, with a nice crunch. For a short period of time, my jicama-loving 3-year-old was claiming he was a "jicama squirrel." I have no idea what he meant, but it was cute.

Thanks for another informative and amusing post.

GetSmartGal said...

Great post!! I love jicama, so many ways to incorporate it in or along side a meal. Thank you for the information.

timi said...

Jicama are one of the things I really do miss here in Kuwait. It is something that is being sold on the street in the Philippines but I have not found it being sold anywhere over here.

Mike Foster said...

kelly: now you know...give it a try

mark: jicama is a great, healthy snack...tasty too

betchai: my mouth is watering for some more...went to the farmer's market today and they were out of it...argggg...

jennifer: your kid sound like a writer in the making...

getsmartgal: don't know too many who try it and don't like it...

timi: that's too bad...maybe you will discover some new foods out there...


peace,

Mike

Faisal Admar said...

At first I wonder what is Jicama. Then after a few research on my own yes I was right it's Sengkuang in Malay. It's famous and easy to get here in Malaysia too. You should try our delicious Penang Rojak. Trust me, you will like it. Instead of Jicama in it, there's a lot of other fruits in rojak. Yummy!

P/s: Have you tried the tiny chinese jicama? Sweeter =)

your "Health Assistant" said...

Jicama is one of my favorite root crop since i was a kid

Joe Somebody said...

My wife loves that stuff, but I can't stand the taste. She had cravings for it when she was pregnant.

Joe-
http://onecrazyoffice.com

Raquel said...

Hi Mike, first, let me say this...by just looking at your picture, you already made me smile. You're so funny and witty! Keep it up.

Anyway, Jicama is very common in the Philippines but we call it "singkamas". I didn;t know it's high in fiber though. Wow, that means, I will eat more of this when I go home .

Lance said...

I've never even heard of it (doesn't make me too worldly I guess!!). So, now I'll have to take a look for it. Sounds delicious (and fiber nutritious)...

kriz cpec said...

great tips, thanks!

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

I have heard of it but never tried it. I am going to try to find some recipes and then buy a couple and see what I think. Thanks for reminding me!

Mike Foster said...

faisal: Would love to try Penang Rojak and Chinese jicama...you are always full of interesting comments, thanks, Faisal

health assistant: lucky you!

joe somebody: I've heard that more than a few time, women craving jicama during pregnancy...

raquel: thanks for the kind words...glad I made you smile--you have a nice smile

lance: good luck, hope you find some. It is full of fiber...a good thing!

kriz: de nada

health nut Heidi: I think you will like it...let me know...


peace,

mike

LIFE,MARRIAGE AND KIDS said...

hi,in my country we call it "singkamas"we usually eaty it raw,peeled,chilledm dip in salt or salt and vinegar. i prefer salt and vinegar.very very juicy...

gLoR!e said...

as i go through reading your post i was trying to remember which site i passed by the same type of post jicama..or maybe it was your other blog? i tried to pronounce it and i got it right when i watched your video..anyway,i so love jicama i can eat as many as i can..

Jennifer said...

I'm sold! You did a great job in your video making it look so good. Where can I find Jicama?

Bobbi Jo said...

I've known what a Jicama is, but never really knew how to pronounce the word. I haven't tried one yet, but since I love testing new foods, I will put this one on my list.

Jodith said...

This sounds tasty. I'll have to give it a try.

Hmmm...wonder if you can grow it in the Pacific Northwest?

Sabine said...

Mike,your video was very interesting,I guess I can´t buy it here in Germany - I wish I could taste it....

Mike Foster said...

life, marriage, etc: my mouth watered while reading your comments...vinegar, hmmmm...

glor!e: glad to be of service...

jennifer: check your local grocery store in the produce section, if not there, I would try a natural health food store

bobbi jo: put it at the top, it is pretty tasty

jodith: that climate might be too cold and damp, but you never know

sabine: good luck, maybe you will find it somewhere...thanks for the kind words...


peace,

mike

Chili said...

I thought Jicama was a dance in my old neighborhood, during Salsa Soul Weekend. LOL. Excellent article.

susan said...

I feel cheated...I am almost 30 and have never had Jicama! I'm going to go out and get some right away...

Lux said...

We bought a jicama today - question: how do you know if it's ripe? This one feels kind of hard.

Margrethe Valdemarsdatter II said...

So thats the term Jicama..I known it as Singkamas! Grandma Estefania would cook it with fresh Lumpia wrapper, an adopted Spanish Chinese French Mexican gestation recepe' with white sauce. Or just deep it with grape vinegar and iodized salt and eat it like a Panda.

alisha said...

Mike, this is my first time to your blog. Thanks for the info about Jicama! I work in a restaurant and they serve it on sandwiches, so I was curious. Your video was informative, and I just wanted to say I found you instantly likeable! Enjoyed watching you cut, peel, and eat the root, and I can't wait to try it myself!

Carlaj said...

Mike, I eat Jicama whenever I can but this year, I can't seem to pick out a good one and i have been to two outdoor markets and 3 different grocery stores. They were awful tasting. I have never had this many problems. Suggestions on how to tell if they are good and ready to eat, plese.

Hoodia Weight Loss Supplement said...

I am reading about Jicama for the first time. Its really interesting to know about it.

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