A bulb–like root vegetable, similar in appearance to a very large turnip, with thin, beige leathery skin and sweetish, crisp white flesh. A native to Mexico, jicama is also eaten extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine. To use it, peel the skin including the fibrous flesh directly under it, then slice and use raw in salads, add to stews, or cut into cubes and use in stir–fries as a substitute for water chestnuts, which it resembles in flavour. Jicamas are a good source of starch and, like potatoes, if stored in the fridge for too long will convert their starch to sugar. Buy firm, heavy roots with smooth skins that are relatively free of blemishes.
Also known as — jicana, Mexican potato, Mexican turnip, yam bean