Jicama (un-phonetic pronunciation guide: "hick'-ih-muh") - also known as a Mexican potato. It's a root, it has really tough skin & most importantly, it's tasty! For more scientific info, see wikipedia.
My first encounter with jicama was an article in the city newspaper describing the food and some of the uses. Generally, this sort of thing would have been easily forgotten, but a local stripper/blogger commented that she LOVES jicama and that stuck in my memory a bit more. A few weeks ago, I was at the natural food store and saw they had jicama salad, so I decided to give it a try. It was really good! My mom also tried the salad (she knew about jicama before a stripper helped her remember it), then emailed me a recipe she found so I could try making it at home.
This recipe pairs EXTREMELY well with Brazilian Fish Stew since both recipes call for 1/2 of a few peppers & cilantro. Last night when I made this though, I paired it with spicy turkey brats and thorough enjoyed the contrast of the spicy meat with the sweet, tangy & crunchy highlights of the salad.
A few personal notes-
- You can find jicama at a normal grocery store. I found mine by the ginger & peppers. Strangely, it took me less time to find a jicama than to find lime juice. Point to remember after wasting 10 minutes randomly wandering around: lime juice is in the juice aisle. (heh, duh)
- Be sure to have a good knife in hand! A normal peeler may or may not work on a jicama. I cut mine in half, then peeled the skin off with my knife. It's a tough little bugger. I opted to shred the flesh instead of cubing it.
- I LOVE all the colors!
- I decided to splurge & buy an ORGANIC cucumber. I felt really good about myself & saving the earth, until I had to get that stupid "organic" sticker off. After wasting 10 minutes randomly picking at it, I decided to just peel the cucumber.
1 large jicama (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled, then julienned or cubed
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
½ green bell pepper, finely diced (I used an orange one instead)
½ C chopped red onion
½ a large cucumber – peeled, seeded, chopped (Mom note: or use an English cucumber to avoid peeling and seeding, and to provide some green color)
1 navel orange – peeled, sliced and chopped into chunks
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 C fresh lime juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of paprika
Toss together the jicama, peppers, onion, cucumber, orange and cilantro in large bowl. Pour lime juice over all. Sprinkle with pinch of cayenne and paprika, and stir. Season with salt (Mom note: under season and taste in 30 minutes). Let sit for 30-60 minutes before serving so flavors will meld.
Supposedly this serves 4. Seems more like 8.
½ avocado, chopped
2 T olive oil