How to Peel Jicama

Three Methods:Preparing the JicamaUsing a Vegetable PeelerUsing a Paring Knife

Jicama is a relative of the potato family that resembles a large radish. It's lightly sweet with a crisp, fresh texture - perfect for adding to salads or slaw. Raw jicama tastes similar to a pear or a mild-tasting apple and is a staple of Latin American cuisine. See Step 1 to learn how to peel jicama.

Method 1
Preparing the Jicama

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    Choose fresh jicama at the market. Look for firm tubers that have dry roots. Choose one that is slightly shiny, rather than dull. The skin should be unblemished and should not have bruises.
    • The smaller jicama are younger and sweeter. The larger ones are older and starchier - better for boiling and mashing than eating raw.
    • Choose jicama that are heavy for their size. Lighter ones have probably been sitting too long, and their moisture has started to evaporate.
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    Wash the jicama under a stream of cool water. Use a nylon bristled brush or sponge to remove the dirt before rinsing it again.
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    Place the clean jicama on a cutting board. Use a knife to slice away the top and the bottom of the tuber.

Method 2
Using a Vegetable Peeler

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    Place a vegetable peeler at the base of the fruit. Tuck the blade of the vegetable peeler under the fibrous skin.
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    Pull upward on the vegetable peeler. Take a section of the skin off of the jicama.
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    Rotate the jicama and peel away the skin. Keep peeling until all of the skin has been removed. It's important to get every last bit, since eating the skin can give you a stomach ache.
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    Process the jicama. Cut the jicama into matchsticks or cube it according to the instructions in your recipe. Discard the peel in your compost pile or garbage bin. Jicama is delicious prepared the following ways:
    • Julienned - the matchstick-shaped pieces are for adding to salad and slaw.
    • Cubed and roasted. It makes wonderful oven-roasted fries.
    • Chopped and boiled. Add some butter and salt for a wonderful starchy treat. You can also mash jicama like a potato.
    • Sliced and sauteed. It's a 5-minute side dish that pairs perfectly with any meat or fish.

Method 3
Using a Paring Knife

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    Place the paring knife at the base of the fruit. Your fingers should be curled around the handle of the knife, and your thumb should be resting on the jicama.
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    Use your fingers to push the knife slowly upward toward your thumb. Don't let the blade come into contact with your thumb. The skin should peel off as the knife travels upward. Be careful not to remove too much of the flesh as you cut off the peel.
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    Reposition your thumb a little higher on the fruit. Continue to bring the knife upward. Keep peeling until you reach the top of the fruit.
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    Bring the knife back to the base of the fruit. Peel away another section. Continue until you have removed all of the peel, and discard the peel in your garbage or compost bin.


  • One cup (150 grams) of cubed jicama contains 45 calories and a large amount of Vitamin C.
  • Unlike potatoes, jicama does not turn brown when exposed to the air. For this reason, it is a staple in vegetable platters. It is also used in stir-fry because it tends to adopt the flavors of the ingredients around it.
  • Add cubed jicama to salads for a mildly sweet crunch.
  • Store jicama unpeeled in a plastic bag. Jicama will keep for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator.

Things You'll Need

  • Jicama
  • Nylon bristled brush or sponge
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler or paring knife

Article Info

Categories: Peeling Food