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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crunchy Jicama Cilantro/Lime Salad

 I first tried this Jicama salad at one of the local Mexican restaurants here in a local Market.  I fell in love with it and decided to find out more about this root vegetable.

Here are some interesting facts I found about Jicama on Wikipedia.
"Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as jicama (hicama); Spanish jícama, Mexican yam, or Mexican turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine although the name most commonly refers to the plant's edible tuberous root. Spaniards spread cultivation of Jícama from Mexico to Philippines, from there it went to China and other parts of Southeast Asia.  Although I never had it in India, I found out that it is available in India and known as mishrikand.

The root's exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white (sorry, looks pink in picture due to lighting in my kitchen) It has a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes. Jícama is often paired with chili powder, Cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime juice, orange, red onion, salsa, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Jícama is high in carbohydrates in the form of dietary fiber. It is composed of 86-90% water; it contains only trace amounts of protein and lipids. Its sweet flavor comes from the oligofructose inulin  (also called fructo-oligosaccharide) which is a prebiotic. Jicama is high in vitamins C, A, and some Bs, along with calcium and phosphorus.

Jícama should be stored dry, between 12 and 16°C (53 and 60°F). Colder temperatures will damage the root; do not refrigerate. A fresh root stored at an appropriate temperature will keep for a month or two.
It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combinations, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes. In contrast to the root, the remainder of the Jícama plant is very poisonous, the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish."I decided to make this salad,  and its variations.

I prepared this salad from my recollection of its taste of what I had in the restaurant. Not sure  how they made it, but if I recall correctly they also added some oil in to it, which I did not as I just wanted to serve fresh as side dish with Mexican meal that I had prepared for my family.
You may be able to keep it in the fridge  but best if consumed within 4 days.
* 2 pounds of Jicama
* 1 bunch of Cilantro
* Freshly squeezed juice from 4 limes
* 1 large jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
* Salt to taste.
* 3 table spoon of olive oil (optional, I did not add it)
* Wash and cut Jacama in to two halves.
* Peel the skin off.
* Now slice each half of Jicama in to thin round slices.
* Stack two or three slices together and cut lengthwise in to thin strips.
* You may choose to cut in to small cubes if you desire.

* Set the julienne strips aside.
* Now in the food processor chop cilantro, jalapeno pepper to paste (not very fine)
* Add lime juice and salt. (and oil if desired)
* Grind all the ingredients together to paste pf desired coarseness.
* Pour the  green paste over julienne strips of Jicama.
* Toss all ingredients until well incorporated.
* Serve fresh.
* Refrigerate the rest.

  • Jicama has a fresh crisp crunchy taste, it can be cut in to small cubes and can be added in to black bean / corn /mango  salsa. (recipes on this blog)
  • Instead of cilantro and jalapeno,  you can add powdered cayenne pepper, salt and roasted cumin powder with lime juice for  a different taste. 
  • You may add these strips to any salad for a fresh crispy and crunchy taste.

Jicama information source:

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.


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