Imagine crossing a monster potato with a water chestnut.
That’s jicama for you. And while not much to look at on the outside, the crisp, crunchy texture and clean, sweet flavor inside make this veggie worth seeking out.
First, the basics. Jicama (pronounced HICK-a-MA) is a tuber — a big brown round root. A relative of the bean family, it is native to Mexico and South America.
Though most often eaten raw, such as chopped into salads, jicama can be steamed, boiled, sautéed or fried. And so long as you don’t overcook it, jicama retains its pleasantly crisp texture (think fresh apple) when cooked.
The flavor is on the neutral side, with a hint of starchy sweetness. It really is quite similar to water chestnuts, and can be substituted for them.