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How to Prep (and Cook with) Jicama

Crunchy, juicy, nutrient-packed jicama (pronounced hi·kuh·muh) is an unsung hero of the produce aisle. Technically a cousin to green beans, jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico available year-round that’s delicious cooked or raw. With a mild, earthy, slightly sweet flavor (think: water chestnuts) and apple-like consistency, it’s a great addition to salads, salsas, slaws, and grazing boards. Jicama also works as lighter swap for potatoes in baked and air fried recipes, and it’s delicious sautéed or boiled, too.

If you’ve never tried jicama, don’t be intimidated. Start by choosing one with a smooth, unblemished surface and thin brown skin (the skin should be thin enough to scrape with your thumbnail to reveal the white flesh inside). Avoid thick-skinned, bruised, or shriveled jicama, which are signs of aging. 

Once you’re ready to prep, start by trimming off the ends of the jicama and slice it in half. Then, use a knife to gently peel away the skin. 

For jicama sticks: 
Step 1. Carefully slice off the rounded parts of the jicama, creating a flat surface.  
Step 2. Cut each half into 1/4-inch slices.  
Step 3. Stack slices and cut evenly into sticks. 

Fresh, raw jicama sticks are a great addition to lunchboxes or served on a veggie platter with your favorite dip. They can also add unexpected, satisfying crunch to cooked dishes, like this noodle salad with jicama and miso vinaigrette.  

Jicama sticks are delicious roasted, too. Their firm texture can withstand the heat, while the edges get golden brown and tender. Toss together with sweet peppers and spices for a simple, satisfying sheet pan side that pairs well with all kinds of meat and fish. 

Roasted Jicama and Peppers 

For diced jicama: 
Step 1: Follow the steps above to create jicama sticks 
Step 2: Line up sticks or stack into a pile, then evenly cut into cubes 
Diced jicama is a vitamin and fiber-rich way to add bulk to all kinds of green, grain, and protein-based salads. We love the combination of crunchy jicama with creamy avocado in this condiment-and-side-dish in one served with grilled chicken breast. 

Grilled Chicken with Jicama Avocado Salsa

Moist and mild-flavored jicama also plays well with fruit, especially melon. This refreshing combination of watermelon, jicama, and fresh mint falls somewhere between salad and salsa, delicious scooped onto tortilla chips or just spooned straight from the bowl. 

Watermelon and Jicama Salsa

Happy crunching! 

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