Native to Mexico and South America, sliced jicama is sold as a street food with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of fiery chili powder.
Also known as Mexican potato and yam bean root, jicama is a large, bulbous root vegetable with thin beige skin and crisp white flesh. Jicama can be lightly steamed, baked, broiled or fried, but it's most commonly eaten raw, adding fresh crunchy texture to sandwiches and fruit and vegetable salads. A staple in Central American cuisine, jicama has a sweet, nutty flavor that can be described as a cross between an apple or pear and a cantaloupe.

Buying Tips

Ranging in size from four ounces to six pounds, jicama is available year-round at most grocery stores and Latin American markets. Choose one that's free of blemishes and heavy for its size.

Storage Tips

Refrigerated in a plastic bag, jicama will last for about two weeks.

Usage Tips

• Peel the papery skin with a sharp paring knife right before using.

• Cover peeled slices with cold water to keep them crisp.

• Cut into strips and toss with raw vegetable and fruit salads.

• Marinate slices in lime or orange juice and sprinkle with chili powder.

• Add chunks to salsas, dips and guacamole.

• Dip slices in pico de gallo for a healthy snack.

• Sauté with carrots or green beans.

• Add slivers to stir-fries, soups or stews near the end of cooking time.

• Boil, bake, fry or mash just as you would potatoes.

Nutrition Notes

Lower in starch and calories than potatoes, jicama is a good source of vitamin C. It also contains a fair amount of potassium, iron and calcium.

Substitution Tips

When jicama is not available, water chestnuts will give recipes a similar crunchy texture.

Try one of our favorite jicama recipes:
Citrus Pickled Vegetables
Shrimp and Jicama Salad with Chile Vinegar
Shrimp Stir Fry

Suggested Pairings

avocados, basil, beans, cabbage, carrots, chicken, chili powder, cucumber, jalapenos, lemons, limes, onions, oranges, peanuts, peppers, pork, shrimp, tomatoes