Jicama: The other white, starchy tuber you need to know. Popular in Mexican cuisine, this crunchy, refreshing root vegetable is a lot like a potato but best eaten raw. Don't be daunted by the thought of preparing it; jicama is easy. When shopping, look for medium-size roots that are brown, hard and a little shiny. Scrub them, peel them, then slice and enjoy them in anything from crispy salads to creamy guacamole. Here are seven excellent recipes that will kick-start your love for jicama:
1. Jicama Salad
To keep the jicama crisp in this simple, refreshing salad, star chef Tom Colicchio suggests you start with a very firm root and cut the julienne a bit thicker than you usually would.
2. Pineapple-Jicama Salsa
This sweet-and-tart salsa is nicely cooling with fiery pork.
3. Jicama Cannelloni with Snapper Seviche
In this tropical take on cannelloni, guacamole, seviche and thinly sliced jicama are rolled in mango strips.
4. Glazed Tofu Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw
Tofu doesn't sound like a reasonable substitute for steak, but when it's pressed until firm, then glazed with a sweet, spicy sauce and topped with a crisp slaw of jicama and carrots, you won't miss the meat.
5. Grouper with Jicama and Black Bean Sauce
This dish was inspired by the delicious local grouper Jacques Pépin picks up at the beach when the fishermen return with their catch. Here, the skinned fillets are steamed over a bed of simmering local vegetables, including a dice of juicy jicama, which Pépin usually adds raw to salads for a cool crunch.
6. Shrimp and Jicama Rolls with Chili-Peanut Sauce
At school in Vietnam, Charles Phan and his classmates would buy these chewy rice-paper rolls, filled with crunchy jicama and sweet shrimp, from enterprising street vendors who set up their stalls in the playground at dismissal time. Phan loves the neatness of including the sauce in the roll rather than serving it alongside, but he often makes extra for those who insist on dipping.
7. Jicama-Mango Guacamole
Serve this brightly flavored dip at your next party.