11 Crispy Jicama Substitute That Will Make You Surprised
Jicama has a distinctive flavor and texture that goes well with many vegetable-based dishes. With a crunchy texture and light taste adding a flavor depth to many recipes, you can understand why Jicama can become a must-have ingredient in people’s diet.
Furthermore, the Jicama starch is also a powerhouse of nutrition like dietary fiber, prebiotic fiber, vitamin C, E, selenium, and beta-carotene, boosting your metabolism and lowering cancer risk.
However, it is not always easy to find Jicama in local grocery stores, so how can you substitute Jicama? Let’s save your searching time and check out the best Jicama substitute below!
What’s A Jicama?
Jicama can seem to be a strange name for many people, but it is also known as the Mexican turnip or Mexican yam bean. This starchy root vegetable has the scientific name Pachyrhizus erosus. The leguminous plant of Jicama is quite poisonous if you eat other parts attached to the root. Despite the poisonous level, Jicama root stays as the delicious part that you can enjoy safely.
The root has a round shape, with an earthy outer skin and white flesh. In the market, there are two common jicamas varieties you can find: Jícama de aqua and the Jicama de Leche. However, people tend to refer to Jicama as the root tuber that looks similar to Turnip.
What Does Jicama Taste Like?
The Jicama de agua is one of the famous Jicama varieties that you can find plenty of in the typical Mexican root vegetables list of the US grocery stores. This one has a high concentration of water which can give you a juicy yet crunchy texture.
The other one, Jicama de Leche, has a relatively lower liquid inside with a longer shape than Jicama de agua. As you can tell from the name, Jicama de Leche has a milky juice inside instead of being translucent.
Although there are different types of Jicamas, their sweet taste is pretty similar. Overall, you can find a deliciously sweet and starchy, slightly nutty like a cross between apple and water chestnuts. Some people also find it is similar to Asian pears and turnips, which I have a Jicama vs Turnip comparison below.
Whatever opinions you follow, we can all agree that Jicama tastes great with chili, cilantro, red onion, orange, soy sauce, and lime. That’s why you can find them common in many salads, slaws, dipping sauces, and salsas.
Recommended Jicama Substitute
If you’re out of Jicama, let’s check out the best substitutes for Jicama below!
Jicama is also known as the Mexican Turnip, so there’s no reason why Turnip is not on the first spot on our list. Turnips belong to the Cabbage family with a long-lasting history in the world’s cuisine. In the modern days, turnips are used mostly in winter dishes because of their delicious jicama-like flavor.
Currently, there are many types of turnips like purple, yellow, white, and green turnips. To substitute cooked Jicama, you should choose the white one for its similar look.
When comparing Turnip vs Jicama, you can find a sweet, slightly bitter, mild and fresh taste from Turnip that makes it a perfect substitution for Jicama in many salads, salsa, and dipping sauce recipes.
Many people might not have heard of Rutabaga as it is more popular with its alternative name, which is Swede. This particular root vegetable is considered the Swedish or Russian turnips in many countries in the world because of their identical flavor and texture to Turnip. This makes it also a delicious Jicama replacement in many of your dishes.
This vegetable has a round shape with purple or green skin and orange-yellow flesh. When cooking Rutabaga, you can notice a mildly sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor in the vegetable’s flesh, similar to how Jicama tastes. Yet, if you choose to replace Rutabaga for unpeeled Jicama, choose those smaller ones as they have a sweeter concentration.
3. Canned Jicama
If you want a flavorful substitute for a Jicama stick, you should check out canned Jicama. This product is not a well-known product, but it is available in many online stores.
Canned Jicama is fresh Jicama shredded, chopped, and pickled with ginger and lime. This would keep the Jicama fresh for up to a month, unlike a few weeks like fresh Jicama.
As the Jicama is pickled, the pieces won’t be as crunchy as fresh ones. However, the distinctive taste is still there, with an added tanginess due to the pickled juice.
When using canned Jicama, you might find some mold forming on the pickled surface. However, it doesn’t affect the Jicama inside, so you can scoop the mold out and use the sour Jicama as usual for your recipes.
4. Water Chestnut
Many people find Jicama to have a similar flavor to raw water chestnut, so it is a fantastic substitute for Jicama. However, you must note that water chestnuts are marginally sweeter varieties.
Regarding the texture, the water chestnuts have a similar crispness and crunchiness after cooking. Like Jicama, it is also tasty when eaten raw, which is ideal to substitute Jicama in salads. Moreover, you can also do many things with these delicious nuts, like boiling, frying, or grilling them for a flavorful experience.
Another amazing substitute for Jicama in recipes is Artichokes. They are also known for many names like sun roots, sunchokes, and earth apples. No matter what you call them, their flavor and texture are as tasty as Jicama. The artichoke can be consumed raw and cooked. With raw artichoke, you can find a crunchy texture with a mild and nutty flavor.
Once they are cooked, the texture of artichoke becomes softer, like Jicama. Regarding all those factors, artichoke is great for substituting Jicama in baking and roasting dishes.
6. Daikon Radish
Daikon radishes are known for their distinctive sweetness, which is amazing to be a Jicama alternative and Swede substitute. Daikon radish, also known as white radish, has an elongated and white skin instead of a round shape like Jicama.
However, when you start cooking daikon radish varieties, there are some similar characteristics to be considered. The texture of daikon radish is crunchy and crispy with a succulent and sweet flavor that you can replicate with Jicama. Although people can cook them in many ways, it is best to process them raw to keep the crunchiness to your taste.
In case a perfect Jicama substitute is not available in your local market, you can also try using white potatoes for your dish. This vegetable should always be available for you to grab a batch, and they are quite tasty as well.
Potatoes are known for their mild and earthy flavor, reminding you of Jicama.
However, unlike the crunchiness of Jicama, cooked potatoes possess a creamy and soft texture when they are cooked, which is not so preferable in soups and stews. When substituting for Jicama, you can bake or fry the potatoes and add them to your salads or dipping sauces.
8. Celery Root
Celery root is a common vegetable that you can use as a Jicama substitute in slaws and salads. A great point for this ingredient is its popularity in the market. The celery root has a similar look to Jicama, which is around the bulb with brown skin.
The texture of celery root is as crunchy and crispy as Jicama, so you can utilize that for serving salad dishes. Regarding the taste of celery root, there is a distinctive peppery and spicy note in these root vegetables that you might not want to substitute in slaws and dipping sauces.
Another root vegetable that you can add to your Jicama substitutes list is parsnip. When using parsnips, you can find an inherent sweet and earthy flavor similar to turnips and carrots. When parsnips are cooked, the texture of parsnips becomes softer yet crispy enough.
Once you have one bite, the earthy, nutty, and starchy flavor spreads across your mouth and gives an amazing experience that you can use for Jicama recipes. With their versatile flavor and nutritious content, you can easily use parsnips for slaws, dipping sauces, and salsas.
Salsify or oyster plant is an edible root vegetable known in many Mediterranean recipes. As a member of the Dandelion family, the root of the Tragopogon Porrifolius plant is an underrated Jicama substitute that you should try out. They appear with a stick-like shape with white flesh covered by brown skin.
Salsify has a fresh, mild, and slightly sweet flavor that many people find similar to oysters. Although the flavor might not be the best, its texture is amazingly similar to Jicama. When using salsify to substitute Jicama, you should peel it and keep the root under the vinegar or lemon juice.
11. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are delicious vegetables with a distinctive sweet variety that goes well with Jicama dishes. The starchy and creamy texture, along with the delicious flavor, makes sweet potato a versatile ingredient in cooking. Most of the sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina. You can find them mostly available in the winter season,
1. How To Substitute For Jicama In Salad?
Jicama has a delicious taste and crunchy texture that is suitable for adding to your healthy salads. Therefore, when finding a Jicama substitute in a salad, you should choose those with crispy varieties and a similar sweet and nutty flavor. Turnips, Rutabaga, and water chestnuts are all amazing ingredients that you can use for this task.
2. Can I Use Jicama Water To Substitute For Raw Jicama?
Jicama is not used to be a seasoning spice as they are loved because of their crunchy texture. However, if you only want the flavor, you can also extract the Jicama juice to put in your dipping sauce and salsas.
Jicama is famous in many Mexican dishes because of its delicious taste and texture. Due to the high demand, Jicama might not always be available in the market, so it is always better to check for a good Jicama substitute for compensating the flavor loss of your favorite dishes.