Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah), also called a Mexican Potato and Mexican Turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine and most commonly the plant's edible root.
Even though I lived in Mexico, I had never tried Jicama! A few months ago I was enjoying a girlfriends spa weekend with my friend Lynnda Shepherd (yep, one of the hosts of Bariatric TV!) at The Boulders in Phoenix and while we were hanging out in the spa lounge, the attendant put out a plate of cut raw vegetables. Lynnda made a beeline to what I thought was SLICED POTATO. Hey who wants to eat raw potato! Lynnda laughed at me - "Hey Chef, you don't know this is Jicama? It is super crunchy and sweet - you're gonna love it!"
It sort of reminds me of a giant brown radish. The root's exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and very crunchy, reminiscent of a crisp Fuji apple, and it is usually eaten raw. It is even crunchier than a cucumber!
Jicama tastes great moistened with lime or sour orange and sprinkled with a blend of chilli powder and kosher salt or my favorite Creole seasoning Tony Chacheres. It makes an amazing crisp salad when grated or shredded and tossed with cilantro, orange slices, julienned red belle pepper and a lime olive oil dressing.