Jicama with Lime Juice and Tajin
Jic-a-what? Let’s begin with the pronunciation, it is hee-kama. Jicama is a round, hard, watery root vegetable with Mexican origins — in fact the word “jicama” is a (Mexican) Spanish word. Though it was first discovered in what is modern day Mexico, jicama can now be found across other Central, South and North American countries as well as across many Asian nations.
Other names used for jicama are: Mexican yam, Mexican turnip, Mexican potato, ahipa, saa got, Chinese turnip, lo bok and Chinese potato.
Jicamas have a very tough and fibrous outer skin that MUST be peeled completely off. (Never eat the skin or plant parts because they are toxic.) Once the hard outer skin is removed a crisp, white and watery vegetable is revealed. The scent and taste are both very mild. Some describe the taste as a tad sweet but it really depends on where the jicama was grown. Jicama is very high in dietary fiber, has 86-90% water content, contains Vitamins C, A and calcium and phosphorus. Because of it’s high water content this makes it an ideal summertime or hot weather food to help you keep hydrated.
Across Asia, jicama is eaten both raw and cooked. In Mexico you will only find it eaten raw. Mostly you’ll find Mexicans eating jicama as a snack and with freshly squeezed lime juice and chile powder. The chile powder that is most often times used is called tajin. The tajin is a very popular condiment used for sprinkling over fresh fruit snacks and/or drinks like michelada beer cocktails. This fruit seasoning is made with three simple ingredients: ground chile peppers, salt and lime — a ubiquitous trinity of Mexican cooking.
For me, juicy pieces of jicama drenched in fresh lime juice and sprinkled with tajin seasoning is among the very best snacks one could have. The calories are low, the flavour is high and all that juiciness really helps to keep you hydrated and cool. Needless to say that since I live in perpetual summer, this jicama snack is a must — and now that summer is arriving to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere I know you will all appreciate it too.
There is no recipe for this snack. All you do is pick up a firm jicama at your grocery store or farmer’s market, wash it throughly, peel off the rough outer brown skin, slice it or dice it or cut it into long stick pieces, squeeze fresh lime juice over the pieces then sprinkle as much tajin as you’d like. If you don’t have a bottle of tajin in your house then simply use your favourite ground chile powder and add some sea salt too.
The last and most important step is to enjoy your snack…and don’t forget to drink the leftover red juice, some would argue that the snack would not be complete if you skip this step. I know once you taste it, you’ll make it your favourite summertime snack. Enjoy and have a beautiful day!
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…
What an incredible Snack!!! Loved the photography and styling Nancy!!!
Thanks so much, Nandita!
Very healthy, fresh and delicious!
Yes, exactly Rosa!:) Thanks
Nice blog…beautiful …delicious recipes…jicama with lime is simply looks yum..
Thank you Vamala!
I love jicama but never thought of eating it by itself. This is such an awesome idea and such a refreshing snack for summer. Great post, Nancy!
You should give it a try sometime, Bill. Thank you!:)
So simple and delicious! Perfect for a hot, summer day.
Yes it is, thank you Susan!:)
This is one of my faves. I had cantaloupe with dinner last night the same way. Soooo good.
Yummy!! Don’t you just love all fruits this way?:)
I absolutely love jicama and tajin and enjoy saying the words a thousand times! I made a jicama, radish and avocado salad for VeganYackAttack blog few months ago – so tasty! Such a pretty summery snack, love it!
Hehe, they are fun words to say.:) Your salad sounds scrumptious, I’m going to go look it up on your blog. Thanks so much Rika!
This looks so tempting.
Fresh, simple and elegant.
Must try to find out if I can find jicama in Peru and what it’s called here.
Thank you Daniela! I’m not sure what jicama is called in Peru — but I do remember reading (somewhere) that in Peru the word “jicama” is for a different vegetable.Maybe look to see if ones that say jicama are imported from Mexico, I also read that they were. Good luck and hope you find it soon!:)
When I am at the grocery store I always look at it but don’t buy it. Now I could make this. Looks so healthy and delicious.
You’ll have to buy it next time, enjoy!:)
You know I have heard of Jicama several times but I just cannot find it here, at least not when I am looking. I hope to try it some day, especially served as this snack.
I’m really surprised by that Evelyne. Have you tried looking in Asian and Hispanic markets near you? I hope you can find at least one to try soon.:)
I love jicama, this is such a great snack for a hot summer day!
Glad to hear you’re also a fan, Laura! Thank you:)
Thanks not only for the snack but also for the very useful information about jicama!
My pleasure and thank you Katerina!
Count me in as one who rarely uses jicama. I like it, just never think to use it. Love the idea of using it as a snack — I’m so going to do this! Thanks.
That’s too bad John, but I hope you give it a try. Thanks!
That sounds amazing!! What a great flavor combo!
Thank you Raven!
I love healthy snacks (especially now I work out… I can’t waste my hardwork haha). I need to look into this – I remember Jicama from your past post. I’m still interested in trying this out!
You’ll specially love jicama since it won’t undo your hard work, hehe! Enjoy Nami:)
The texture of jicama does remind a bit of turnip, but I don’t remember ever seeing it (maybe I’ll have to dig a little deeper next time in the market), very intrigued with the recipe 🙂
I think you’re right, they are somewhat similar. I hope you find some to give it a try. Thanks Gintare!
Ooo, this sounds excellent! It’s been a while since I’ve eaten jicama but I’m going to go pick some up so I can make this.
Thank you, Sylvie and enjoy that jicama.:)
Perfect balance of the cool jicama, sour limes and heat from the spice. This is a great idea for snacking this summer and you don’t even have to crank up the oven. You have to love that!
Thanks so much!
I love the crispy texture and fresh taste of jícama. We’ll be enjoying this recipe often this summer, I’m sure, with some nice cold beers by the pool!
Glad to hear it, Frank. Oh yes a couple of ice cold Sols will be excellent alongside. Enjoy:)
This is the second post I’ve seen in the last fifteen minutes that used jicama as an ingredient. Evidence that I should get reacquainted with it real soon. Love the taste of it and love the idea of a perpetual summer!
It’s definitely a sign, Sandra! I hope you get to try it soon.
I love eating jicama in salads when I’m out on the town, but I never thought of it as a snack food. So easy and healthy that I must try!!
I hope you do give it a try sometime Lizzy, it’s a fantastic snack. Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite snacks right now ! I lived it when I was a kid too.
Glad to hear it, it’s such a great snack. Thanks!
Ooo, this sounds excellent! It’s been a while since I’ve eaten jicama but I’m going to go pick some up so I can make this. thanks for sharing this wonderful article and reicpe.
My pleasure, enjoy!