Hello again, Adventurers! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. The 10,543 things Team TOA has been working on behind the scenes to improve your experience here have been taking muuuch longer than I’d hoped. In the meantime, how’s about a quickie? Recipe, that is!
This is a happy little slaw I created based on a side dish from a long-ago restaurant meal. It’s cold, crunchy and light, yet still filling, which makes it ideal for these hot summer days.
It’s also free of animal products, gluten and many common allergens like nuts, so it’s perfect for potlucks, cookouts and other group occasions.
The featured ingredient is jicama (HICK-ah-mah…No, Cletus, I’m not talking about your mother again) and I’ve been asked a number of times what that is. I give you…the jicama:
Jicama is the root of a tropical vining plant. As you can see, it’s oval-shaped and has a somewhat papery skin. (Is anyone feeling like they’ve wandered into Randall’s Honey Badger video?) They can vary greatly in size, but most that you’ll see in stores are softball-sized. The peel is easy to remove, just cut off the top and bottom, nick the peel at the top of the cut and pull it off with your fingers (or with the flattened knife).
The flesh is white; it reminds me of a radish. Some people say it tastes slightly sweet, but it doesn’t taste like anything to me, which makes it very versatile. The texture is fantastic though: crisp and crunchy, but not as hard as a carrot. Nutritionally, it’s high in fiber and a great prebiotic and vitamin C source, while being low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. In other words, it’s a great snack!
If you live in a tropical or subtropical region, you may be able to find jicama at your favorite farmers market. Otherwise, try Asian markets. Mainstream groceries might carry them; try looking with the other “exotic” or tropical offerings (ginger and turmeric root, yucca, etc.) or ask the produce manager.
On to the recipe!
Happy Jicama Slaw
Servings: A lot. I don’t know. I forgot to count, but it’s plenty for a potluck. If you served it for dinner, there’d be leftovers for sure. Partly because Sally never eats her vegetables. Brat.
1 jicama root, peeled and julienned
1 1/2 carrots, peeled and julienned
3 roasted red peppers, chopped
1 large mango, seeded, peeled and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of half a small Persian lime
Optional: Kosher salt (a sprinkle can help make the sweet mango flavor pop)
Optional: Chili powder (or cayenne pepper if that’s what you have)
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, toss and taste. If you feel like it needs something, try a light sprinkle of kosher salt, stir and taste again. I liked it as is, so I didn’t bother with the spices, but chili powder is a popular jicama seasoning (which I could see being fab on thin, roasted jicama chips). If you still feel like it needs some punch, try stirring in a little chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste.
Have you ever tried jicama? Share your favorite recipe in the comments below! Questions? Share those too!