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Jicama – In the Raw!

July 7, 2013

Look at this beautiful example of the first of the season!

Look at this beautiful example of the first of the season!

I love Jicama! A relatively new addition to our food-scape in Australia, Jicama is well known in Asia and South America and is related to the bean family.

It passes under the guise of many names: Mexican Yam, Mexican Turnip, Yam Bean, Chinese potato, to name a few. You will find it at your Asian greengrocer but for only a limited season of a few months (here in Australia), despite it being a voraciously growing vine.

So when I see it appear, I grab some (as does everyone else at the market) as next time, it may have disappeared! The best ones are smooth and shiny without wrinkles with a papery light skin. You eat the root part only – beware the leaves & flowers are toxic – and it varies in size depending on species. The inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles a cross between a raw potato and apple. The flavour is slightly sweet and starchy, and can be eaten raw or cooked. I like to eat it both ways as a salad or cooked vegetable dish but my favourite way is in the popular popiah, a Malaysian dish. More on that later!

Jícama is high in carbohydrates and composed of 86-90% water. It is really high in vitamin C and due to its fibre, works as a prebiotic. Prepare it by topping and tailing the root and using a knife peel the skin away in strips. You can use a vege peeler but there is no need as it peels very easily.

This recipe below acts as a good base recipe. You can see that I have added avocado & spinach to it further down. Raw jicama works very well with acid & chilli and fruit and you will find lots of recipes mixing it with oranges or apples.

I have used sesame oil and furikake  to give this a Japanese bent. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning consisting of sesame seeds, dried fish, seaweed and  salt. But feel free to use some shredded nori or gomashio if you prefer. If you don’t have chilli flavoured sesame oil, add a few pinches of chilli powder to taste.

Japanese Jicama Salad with Sesame

Japanese Jicama Salad with Sesame

1 large jicama (about 600g peeled)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (I used chilli flavoured)
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teas salt
1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onions
1 tablespoon furikake or gomashio (optional)
Slice the jicama into match-sticks or dice. Mix the oil, salt & lime juice in a big bowl and add the jicama, spring onions & sesame seeds. Mix  well and garnish with the furikake if using.
Use this as a base and add anything you desire. It adds a wonderful crunch to salads.
Good additions would be  peanuts, tomato, avocado, coriander, cucumber, wakame, or shredded chicken.
Jicama salad with avocado & spinach

Jicama salad with avocado & spinach





4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Marshall permalink
    August 4, 2015 11:43 am

    What months is Jicama available in Australia please?

    • August 5, 2015 6:22 pm

      Hi john, jicama is a subtropical vegegtable and has had a short season in the past. But more hothouse growing has lengthened the season. They can be found in Brisbane from March to July, usually.

      • Jadany permalink
        May 14, 2016 4:07 pm

        Hey! Where I can buy jicama in brisbane? Thanks I’ll appreciate your answer

      • May 18, 2016 1:16 pm

        Jicama is very seasonal and I buy it from any Asian grocer in Sunnybank or Inala.

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