Friday, June 20, 2008

Refreshing Jicama(Pronounced hee-kah-mah) - Cucumber Salad

Other Names: fan-ko (China), sankalu (India), sinkamas (Philippines)

Thank you all for your participation and guesses. It's nothing but JICAMA also called mexican potatoes or yam bean or Mexican turnip(Pachyrhizus erosus). It is a tuber that belongs to the morning glory family that hails from Mexico and South America. This vegetable is characterized as a cross between an apple and a potato. Jícama is very popular in Vietnam, known as 'cu dau' or 'cu san'.

Whenever I go for vegetable shopping (farmer's market, Wegman's, Shoprite) ,I have the habit of picking up some new stuff (could be anything) every time . I always wanted to buy this tuberous root in the grocery store but I was hesitant somehow to buy the odd rugged looking vegetable in the produce section. I never thought it could be eaten raw until recently. It's a great vegetable to serve raw on a crudité(raw) platter as it doesn't discolor like potatoes. It has crunchy white flesh inside tastes similar to that of water chestnuts, more aptly vaalaithandu (plantain stem) but sweeter. It can also be sautéed or boiled. I made couple of dishes using this.

Jicama has less starch and fewer calories than potatoe has. If you want to have a low carb and low calorie summer snack, go for Jicama-Cucumber salad. Jicama retains it's crispness even after it is boiled or sauteed. I think Jicama also belongs to the acquired taste vegetable category.


Jicama(Peeled and Julienned) - 1 cup
Cucumber(Peeled,seeded and Julienned) - 1 cup
lime Juice - 1 tsp -
chili powder - 1/4 tsp
corriander leaves(chopped) - 1 tsp
Kosher salt


Toss together Jicama,Cucumber and chili powder. Add freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped corriander leaves and salt and give a nice toss. Let the salad sit for 15- 20minutes to absorb the flavor. Serve this crunchy and refreshing salad on a hot summer day.

You can make variations to the salad by adding shredded carrots, papaya, beets etc.

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