Raw Jicama Cocktail Recipe, a Mexican Creation
This is a Mexican self-developed recipe that comes from my primary household. Since as long as I can remember, Mom, Dad, Martina (their faithful Mexican cook) and I have been enthusiastic advocators of food variety. We absolutely refuse to be eating the same two or three things every single day and are always incorporating new dishes to the repertoire, doing all our best to keep day-to-day food interesting. I don’t really know who came up with the particular idea of the “Jícama Cocktail” but I want to give credit to us all. Naturally, the recipe in itself is not a traditional Mexican dish but it certainly is made of very traditional, very Mexican ingredients.
Jicama, Yam Bean or Mexican Turnip
The recipe here published uses the edible tuberous root of a Mexican vine called Jícama. The name applies both to the plant and its root, which is commonly eaten in Mexico both as street food (usually with salt, lemon and powdered chili, as a snack) and as an element to more recent Contemporary Mexican Cuisine. Alternative names for jícama are yam, yam bean and Mexican Turnip. The fact is that this fame-less tuberous root can be mixed with a couple of simple condiments to create a very refreshing dish.
For more information on Jícama visit:
Ingredients for the Jícama Cocktail
- 2 Jicamas
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp coriander (cilantro) leafs chopped
- The juice of 3 to 5 limes, depending on how juicy they are (I use the green small round limes with smooth skin that are very acid)
- Salt to taste
- Optional: if you like food a bit hot and spicy try adding 1 or 2 green chili peppers finely chopped (I use Chile Serrano, see photograph attached)
Procedure: How to Prepare Jicama Cocktail
Peel the Jicamas using a knife and dice them into 1.5cm3 cubes (it doesn’t need to be exact at ALL, I just give you a suggested measure, an idea). Mix the diced Jicama with the onion and coriander leafs. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 5 limes, stir and add salt to taste. If you want to, you can also add 1 or 2 green chili peppers (Chile Serrano) to give it a nice mild stingy flavor; don’t add too much because if it gets too hot you lose the delicate flavor of the Jicama.
This Jicama Cocktail can be an appetizer or a cold first course, but it can also be eaten as a midday/midafternoon snack or a tapas kind of thing to snack on over some drinks. It is particularly enjoyable during hot days.
How to Control the Hotness of the Jicama Cocktail
(How to know how hot a chili pepper is, or How to get rid of the hotness of a chili pepper)
One never knows how hot a chile is, other than tasting it, there is no way to figure that out from beforehand; it can be very hot or almost not hot at all. To have some control over the hotness of the dish, add the finely chopped chile little by little, mixing the preparation and trying it before adding the next bit. Given the fact that the degree of hotness is a subjective rather than an objective quantification, another option could be to serve the chili separately so that everyone can add it to taste.
The hotness of a chili pepper is actually contained in its seeds and veins, so if you want the flavor but say no to the hotness, you can devein the chili (cut off the white strings in the interior of the pepper) and discard the seeds, adding only the green part of the chili pepper to the preparation. And finally, if you don’t want to use the Chile Serrano or any other type of green pepper, you can also try it with red hot chili powder (there are even ones that are sold with salt and powdered lime mixed in, those are good as well).
Jícama's Nutritional Facts
Jícama has been recently exploited as an excellent element to add on to our dietary intake because it has some very favorable nutritional facts: it is high in vitamin C and fiber, low in sugars, has absolutely no fat and it is eaten raw and has a good fullness factor. The calorie count per serving (120g or 1 cup sliced) is 46 calories and it has an estimated glycemic load (GL) of 2! GL is related to the effect a particular food has on blood sugar (and metabolism in general). Most nutritional experts consider a GL below 10 to be low and thus having a low or mild effect on blood sugar –which is a good thing for your metabolism in general and for keeping lean. On the other hand, a GL above 20 is considered to be high and in this case the opposite applies: a high GL has a big effect on blood sugar causing big metabolic variations that are bad news for the body and waste line (high GL will cause your body to store fat). Low glycemic load foods are recommended for everyone; nevertheless, they are more emphatically advised for diabetic control and weight loss because neither of them are usually possible in the presence of high glycemic effects on the body.
For more information on jícama's nutritional information visit:
- Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Yambean (jicama), raw
Nutrition facts and Information for Yambean (jicama), raw
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