User Reviewed

How to Prepare Jicama

Three Parts:Choosing and Prepping Jicama RootsEating Raw JicamaCooking With Jicama

Jicama is a plant and vine that is indigenous to Mexico. Only the root of the plant is edible, and it resembles a large light-brown colored turnip. The white, creamy interior has a crisp texture somewhat similar to a pear or raw potato. Cooking jicama or serving it raw are equally tasty ways to prepare this lightly sweet root.

Part 1
Choosing and Prepping Jicama Roots

  1. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 1
    Choose a ripe jicama. You can find jicama at Latin grocery stores, health food stores, and some mainstream supermarkets in the produce aisle. Look for a small or medium-sized jicama with brown skin. It should be slightly shiny, rather than dull. Choose a root without any blemishes or soft spots.
    • The smaller jicama are younger and sweeter. If you want a starchier taste, choose a larger jicama, though it might be a bit woody in texture.
    • The jicama should be heavy for its size. If it feels light, it has probably been sitting there for a long time, and the moisture has started to evaporate.
    • Jicama are not seasonal, so you should be able to find a good selection all year round.
  2. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 2
    Scrub the jicama. Use a vegetable scrubber or a clean cloth wet with water to scrub the skin of the jicama. The skin will be removed, since it isn't edible, but you want to clean off all the dirt before peeling.
  3. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 3
    Peel the jicama. It's easy to use a potato or carrot peeler to do the job. Peel all traces of the skin from the jicama, since ingesting the skin could give you a stomach ache.
  4. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 4
    Slice the jicama. Use a sharp knife to slice the jicama into small sticks, discs, chunks, or wedges - whatever shape works for the recipe you're using. You'll find the texture to be similar to that of a potato. The flesh should be firm, without any give.
  5. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 5
    Keep the jicama fresh. If you don't immediately use the jicama, you can keep it fresh longer and avoid discoloration by submerging the processed jicama in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. The citric acid in the juice will help keep the jicama in good shape for up to 2 days if you store it in the refrigerator.

Part 2
Eating Raw Jicama

  1. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 6
    Add jicama to your salad. Jicama is a crunchy, flavorful, bright addition to any type of salad. Slice it into thin sticks or small cubes and simply toss it into your salad along with your other favorite mix-ins. Jicama pairs especially well with citrusy dressings.
    • Raw jicama is great in fruit salads, dipped into salsa, lettuce-based salads, chicken salad, pasta salad or just about any other application you can imagine.
  2. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 7
    Make jicama slaw. This popular use for raw jicama is a great accompaniment to steak or fish. Slice a small jicama into small sticks, then toss it with the following ingredients to create a delicious slaw:
    • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, shredded
    • 1/2 cup lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
    • Salt, pepper, and other spices to taste
  3. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 8
    Make jicama chips. If you have a particularly ripe, sweet jicama, a great way to serve it is in the form of chips. This makes a very healthy appetizer or side dish. Simply slice the jicama into thin, bite-sized discs. Arrange them in an attractive pattern on a serving platter and squeeze lime juice over the chips. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili powder.
  4. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 9
    Serve jicama with dip the same way you would carrots.

Part 3
Cooking With Jicama

  1. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 10
    Roast a jicama. The flesh of a jicama is just as good cooked as it is raw. Roasting it makes it taste slightly sweeter. Try roasting a jicama in place of potatoes or sweet potatoes. To do so, use the following method:
    • Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C).
    • Peel and cube the jicama.
    • Toss the cubes with 1/4 cup cooking oil, salt and pepper, and your favorite spices.
    • Roast the jicama cubes for 15 minutes.
  2. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 11
    Sauté a jicama. Sauteed jicama makes for a unique and delectable side dish. Peel and cube a jicama, then heat some oil in a saucepan and Sauté the jicama until it turns golden brown. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 12
    Make stir-fried jicama. Jicama is a great vegetable to substitute for water chestnuts or potatoes in a stir fry. Chop your jicama into bite-sized pieces, then add it to the frying pan with other cut vegetables like snow peas, carrots, and green beans. Dress the stir fry with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.
  4. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 13
    Make stewed jicama. Jicama can be added to just about any soup or stew recipe. Cut the jicama into small cubes and add it to your favorite soup recipe, or toss it the cubes in near the end of a stew's cooking time.
  5. Image titled Prepare Jicama Step 14
    Make boiled and mashed jicama. Mashed jicama can be used as a substitute for mashed potatoes. Simply peel the jicama, then cube it and boil it in lightly salted water. Add a peeled and crushed garlic clove for extra flavor. Simmer the jicama until it is fork tender, then drain it and mash it with a potato masher. Add butter and milk or cream and stir until the mash is light and fluffy.


  • Jicama is best stored unpeeled, at room temperature. A refrigerated jicama will quickly spoil due to the humidity in the refrigerator. Left on the counter, however, an unpeeled jicama will stay fresh for up to 1 month.
  • Cut jicama can be kept refrigerated or at room temperature for up to 4 hours in order to comply with food handling safety recommendations. It won't turn color or oxidize, but it will dry out, so keep it tightly wrapped to retain the moisture or store it in a dish with a layer of water on the bottom to keep it from drying out.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Food Preparation