Jicama is a versatile root vegetable (pronounced HEE-kah-mah). It’s available year-round, and lends itself to raw and cooked applications. If you’ve never had it, the texture is similar to water chestnuts or raw white potatoes. It’s a fairly good source of vitamin C and potassium. The skin is papery and should be peeled off before eating. After peeling, jicama will keep in a zip-top plastic bag for 1 to 2 weeks.
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You can either peel the papery brown skin from jicama using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.
If you use a paring knife, you’ll lose a bit more of the jicama flesh, but nothing too costly. Pick whichever method you’re most comfortable with.
Jicama can be cut into fun shapes for kids by using cookie cutters! Simply slice it into rounds and then cut into shapes with the cookie cutters.
Cutting and Shredding
After peeling, jicama can be either cut into thin strips (julienned) or cubed. Some prefer to use a serrated knife for cutting; we’ve used both a chef’s knife and serrated knife with equal success, so feel free to use whichever knife you prefer.
To shred it, use the large holes of a box grater.
Cut the jicama in half to make two pieces, and grate the flat, cut side against the box grater for perfect shreds every time. The jicama’s sturdy texture helps make this a quick process you could even task to older kids helping in the kitchen.
Many people love to drench jicama sticks with lime juice and sprinkle them with chili powder and/or salt for a delicious, refreshing snack. Try them tossed with carrot and cucumber sticks or fresh melon balls. The mild, slightly sweet flavor lends itself to fresh applications, such as the salad we recently made in our test kitchens. Look for jicama on a few of our upcoming meal plans, and happy eating!