Cooking Jicama

So, bad news is that I haven’t super had the time or money to go out and find another jicama that may not have gone south. I feel incredibly confident that I would enjoy jicama because I like crunchy veggies like carrots and radishes and it’s not supposed to have any flavor.

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Have I also mentioned I think a filling has come out of my tooth and I now feel awful pain whenever something so much as touches that tooth? When I was eating basic mac and cheese that I made sure was cooked to fall apart in my mouth it was still like someone jabbed me in the mouth. It’s been a fun week y’all, but I am literally going to endure the pain, the disgust and tell you all about these methods to cook up some jicama because I have put quite a bit of trust in its flavors or lack thereof.

So, how I am going to go about this is that I am going to do sort of the same thing I did last time and just tell you what I did, and how it tasted in its current state and then what I think it would taste like with a nice fresh jicama.

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First up, I was super excited about making something sweet with a vegetable. I always try to find something that could pass in a dessert whenever I search for recipes, much like zucchini bread or something like that. When I kept searching for cooked jicama I saw four or five people mix cinnamon, sugar, any extra spices and jicama to make a fake baked apple. That is sort of an odd replacement because I would think it is cheaper to buy apples, apples are more common to find and I just wouldn’t think jicama would really bring any kind of fantastic flavor to the party.

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At any rate, I chopped up the jicama like I would for baked apples or apple pie and coated them in cinnamon and nutmeg. I had already messed up which I didn’t realize at the time but I didn’t put any kind of sweetener in there. No sugar, no syrupy stuff, not even a pinch of my sweat (because I’m so sweet, right? I couldn’t pass that joke up).

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First bite was definitely just the most awful mish mash of spoiled vinegary jicama and incredibly strong cinnamon taste and to top allllll of that off, I also just eyeballed everything and didn’t really use restraint with the spices. And I didn’t use butter, I know that one is the most heinous of crimes.

I could see where this would be successful, but I also wonder why. I know there are people who absolutely hate mushy apples when they bake and would like some kind of crisp, but I adore them. That texture of apples melting in your mouth in what is essentially the second best part of apple pie that you’re getting a whole serving of is just pure bliss.

Anyway, that probably won’t be getting a repeat from me honestly.

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Next, I decided to take the celeriac approach and make a sort of hash with this stuff. I even had a bit of hope that cooking it this way, covered in an oil and slathered with chopped onion would somehow magically cook the nasty fermented jicama taste out. You can guess that I was sorely mistaken. I think I would totally do this again with jicama. Now I do like potatoes that are cooked all the way through when I make a kind of hash, but I think that contrast of soft onions and crisp jicama would be a cool thing to place a little fried egg on top and get covered in the yolk.

Not only that, jicama is called a Mexican potato, so I feel like it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to make some hash/home fries with it to shake up your breakfast game.

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Finally, I was just going to make some fries out of them because they are the perfect shape for doing so. When we were out of town eating delicious foods, we had the most amazing huge bowl of garlic fries and I was kind of wanting some more so when I was coating these in salt and pepper I threw in a healthy shake of garlic powder (although I’m sure it is better to use fresh garlic, I just didn’t have the time or energy). The flavor that came from that was heavenly though, and I got the skins to crisp to a nice amount.

Of course after the good part it went straight to the vinegar taste, but I really want to grab another jicama to try this out on. I may even mix some up with potatoes just so there can be a good mix. The fries still remained crunchy on the inside, but not as much as the other stuff.

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I don’t think I have ever really craved “something crisp and crunchy” and I don’t know why, especially if the flavor is so mild you couldn’t really tell. It is more of a “I want an apple and the taste of apple is great when you get a nice crisp bite,” not so much, “I want to bite into something crisp, regardless of flavor.” Although I won’t lie because I really just think about Oreos instead of healthy snacks.

I will say that I bought 3 lbs of jicama and the header picture up above is all of it. You really could have a little feast from one of these little bocce ball sized tubers. For the record, I have never played bocce ball, but they seemed like a nice comparison.

I fully support going out and purchasing a jicama if you’re making up some crudite, a salad, slaw or even like a potato salad kind of situation. I think it would really surprise the people you’re serving and they will say, hopefully, in a fascinated way, “what was in that?” and you’ll get to impress them with your food knowledge.

Go out. buy one and impress your friends.

 

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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