Can jicama be cooked like a potato?

Introduction: Can jicama be cooked like a potato?

Jicama, also known as yam bean or Mexican turnip, is a root vegetable that is popular in Mexican and Latin American cuisine. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and a crunchy texture, making it a versatile ingredient in many dishes. However, many people wonder if jicama can be cooked like a potato. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between jicama and potatoes, the nutritional value of jicama, and the various ways to cook jicama.

What is jicama and how does it compare to potatoes?

Jicama is a root vegetable that belongs to the legume family. It is native to Mexico and Central America, but is now grown in other parts of the world as well. Jicama has a similar appearance to a turnip, with a brown, papery skin and white, crunchy flesh inside. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, and is often eaten raw in salads or as a snack.

Potatoes, on the other hand, are a staple food in many parts of the world. They are also a root vegetable, but are part of the nightshade family. Potatoes have a brown or red skin and white or yellow flesh. They are starchy and have a neutral flavor, making them a common ingredient in many dishes, from mashed potatoes to French fries. While jicama and potatoes have some similarities, they also have some differences in taste and texture that make them unique ingredients in their own right.

Nutritional value of jicama vs. potatoes

Both jicama and potatoes are nutritious vegetables that are low in calories and high in fiber. However, jicama has some nutritional advantages over potatoes. Jicama is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and folate, while potatoes are higher in vitamin B6 and iron. Jicama is also lower in carbs and calories than potatoes, making it a good option for those on a low-carb or low-calorie diet. Overall, both jicama and potatoes are healthy vegetables that can be incorporated into a balanced diet.

Ways to cook jicama: boiling, baking, frying

Jicama can be cooked in a variety of ways, just like potatoes. One popular method is to boil jicama, which softens the flesh and makes it easier to mash or puree. Baked jicama can also be a tasty side dish, especially when seasoned with herbs and spices. Jicama can also be fried, either as jicama fries or as a crunchy topping for salads or soups. When frying jicama, it is important to slice it thinly and fry it until it is crispy and golden brown.

Jicama fries: a healthier alternative to potato fries

Jicama fries are a popular alternative to potato fries, as they are lower in carbs and calories than traditional fries. To make jicama fries, slice the jicama into thin strips and toss them with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, such as garlic powder, paprika, or chili powder. Then, bake the jicama in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown. Jicama fries are a tasty and healthy snack or side dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Jicama hash: a tasty breakfast option

Jicama hash is a delicious and healthy breakfast option that can be made in a variety of ways. To make jicama hash, dice the jicama into small cubes and sauté it with onions, bell peppers, and your favorite breakfast meat, such as bacon or sausage. Season the hash with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and serve it with eggs for a hearty and satisfying breakfast.

Jicama soup: a unique twist on potato soup

Jicama soup is a unique and flavorful twist on traditional potato soup. To make jicama soup, boil diced jicama with onions, garlic, and chicken broth until the jicama is tender. Then, puree the mixture until it is smooth, and season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. Jicama soup is a creamy and delicious soup that is perfect for a cold winter day.

Tips for preparing and seasoning jicama dishes

When preparing jicama, it is important to peel it first, as the skin is tough and fibrous. Jicama can be peeled with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Jicama can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, such as cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika. It can also be flavored with lime juice and cilantro for a Mexican-inspired twist. When cooking jicama, it is important not to overcook it, as it can become mushy and lose its crunch.

Conclusion: Jicama as a versatile potato substitute

In conclusion, jicama is a versatile and healthy vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. While it may not be a perfect substitute for potatoes, it can be used in many potato-based dishes to add a unique flavor and texture. Jicama fries, hash, and soup are just a few examples of the many ways to incorporate jicama into your cooking repertoire. With its low carb and calorie count, jicama is a great option for those looking to add more vegetables to their diet.

Recipes: Jicama mashed potatoes, jicama gratin, jicama chips

Here are three recipes to get you started with cooking jicama:

Jicama mashed potatoes


  • 2 cups peeled and diced jicama
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the jicama in a pot of salted water until it is soft and tender.
  2. Drain the jicama and mash it with a potato masher or fork.
  3. Add the butter and cream, and mash until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jicama gratin


  • 2 cups peeled and thinly sliced jicama
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sliced jicama, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the jicama is tender and the top is golden brown.

Jicama chips


  • 1 large jicama, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss the sliced jicama with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the jicama slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the jicama chips are crispy and golden brown.
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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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