It's a versatile, delicious vegetable.

By Stacey Ballis
December 26, 2019

Jicama has become available in most grocery stores, much to the delight of those of us who love its crispy, crunchy, juicy texture and slightly sweet flavor. It is the darling of vegetable trays and crudité platters everywhere. But jicama is so much more versatile than just a guacamole or dip delivery service. It can be a wonderful ingredient for cooking with. You can add jicama to a stir fry where it acts much like a water chestnut or grate it into cocktail meatballs to add moisture. Diced finely into tzatziki or raita, it is refreshing and delicious, or add it to your next gazpacho for that little something extra. Whether it is slicing thin rounds to serve as the base for canapes or appetizer-sized tacos, or making sticks dressed with soy, sesame oil and furikake for a fresh snack, jicama is an ingredient you should get to know better.

Make Slaw

Jicama is a great addition to any slaw you are making; you can swap it in for a percentage of your other ingredients like cabbage or carrots or make a jicama-forward slaw with the support of some napa cabbage and green apple. Or try this version:

Throw It In Salsa

The crunch of raw jicama is a wonderful addition to any raw salsa recipe, and often I use it when I want the crunch that raw onion brings, but not that powerful onion bite. If you are making a roasted vegetable salsa, it can sometimes lack in texture, so some diced jicama added at the end can bring in that textural balance.

Give Some Crunch to Your Salad

Like any raw vegetable, jicama is a good salad topper. But you can also make a fun jicama crouton by tossing small cubes of raw jicama in tajin seasoning or curry powder or za'atar. It can be the star of a salad or just a supporting role. It stands up to intense flavors, so don’t be shy with the dressing choices.

Watch: How to Prepare Jicama

Fruit Salad

Because of the natural sweetness, jicama is also at home in a fruit salad, where it can really be a wonderful addition, preventing the salad from getting cloyingly sweet, and adding a crunch that fruit salads often lack. It is a great pairing with Asian pear and all citrus fruits.

Pickle It

Jicama pickles beautifully and can often sub in for other vegetables that can be harder to find. Looking for daikon radish to pickle for a bahn-mi topper and can’t find one? Jicama to the rescue. Try it in your favorite bread and butter or sweet pickle recipe, or in a spicy giardinara.

Marinate It

Jicama will retain its crunch better than many vegetables, which makes it ideal for marinating. Whether you marinate in your favorite lemony herb dijon marinade, with a spicy Asian-influenced chili crisp or even go Spanish with sherry vinegar and smoked paprika, a quick soak in something flavorful will make for a great addition to your appetizer spread.

 

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