How do you peel a jicama: the ultimate guide

Jicama is a versatile and delicious root vegetable native to Mexico. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and crunchy texture, which makes it a great addition to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. However, many people are intimidated by its rough and thick skin and don’t know how to peel it properly. In this article, we will provide you with the ultimate guide on how to peel a jicama, including different methods, tips, and tricks.

Why should you peel a jicama?

While it’s not necessary to peel a jicama, it’s recommended for several reasons:

  • The skin of a jicama is tough and fibrous, which can be difficult to chew.
  • The skin can also trap dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants, which may not be safe to eat.
  • Peeling a jicama can help to remove its thin layer of toxic sap, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people or irritate the skin.

Method 1: Using a peeler

The easiest and most common way to peel a jicama is to use a vegetable peeler.

Step 1: Rinse the jicama under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Cut off the ends of the jicama with a sharp knife.

Step 1 Step 2
Rinse the jicama under cold water Cut off the ends of the jicama

Step 3: Hold the jicama firmly with one hand and use the peeler to remove the skin in long strips, following the contour of the vegetable.

Step 4: Continue peeling the jicama until you have removed all of the skin, including any remaining fibrous bits or blemishes.

Step 3 Step 4
Use the peeler to remove the skin in long strips Peel the jicama until you have removed all of the skin

Step 5: Rinse the peeled jicama under cold water to remove any remaining sap or debris, and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

Method 2: Using a knife

If you don’t have a vegetable peeler, you can also peel a jicama with a sharp knife.

Step 1: Rinse the jicama under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Cut off the ends of the jicama with a sharp knife.

Step 3: Hold the jicama firmly with one hand and use the knife to slice off the skin in thin strips, following the contour of the vegetable.

Step 4: Be careful not to remove too much flesh or cut yourself, as the skin can be slippery.

Step 5: Continue peeling the jicama until you have removed all of the skin, including any remaining fibrous bits or blemishes.

Step 6: Rinse the peeled jicama under cold water to remove any remaining sap or debris, and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

Method 3: Using a microwave

If you want to save some time and effort, you can also use a microwave to peel a jicama.

Step 1: Rinse the jicama under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Pierce the jicama several times with a fork or knife to create some holes. This will help the steam to escape and prevent the jicama from exploding in the microwave.

Step 3: Place the jicama on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetable.

Step 4: Remove the jicama from the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes, until it’s safe to handle.

Step 5: Use a sharp knife to cut off the ends of the jicama, and then use your hands to peel off the skin, which should come off easily due to the steam.

Step 6: Rinse the peeled jicama under cold water to remove any remaining sap or debris, and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

Tips and tricks

To make the process of peeling a jicama easier and safer, you can also follow these tips and tricks:

  • Choose a jicama that is firm, heavy, and has a smooth and unblemished skin.
  • Use a vegetable peeler or knife with a sharp blade and a comfortable handle.
  • Work on a clean and stable surface, such as a cutting board or a countertop.
  • Hold the jicama carefully and firmly, using both hands if necessary, to avoid slipping or rolling.
  • Remove any fibrous bits or blemishes with a paring knife or a vegetable brush, if necessary.
  • Rinse the jicama under cold water after peeling to remove any remaining sap or debris.
  • Store the peeled jicama in a sealed container or a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Conclusion

Peeling a jicama may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually a simple and rewarding task that can unlock the delicious potential of this versatile vegetable. Whether you use a peeler, a knife, or a microwave, just remember to be safe, patient, and creative, and enjoy the crisp and refreshing taste of jicama in your favorite dishes.

FAQs:

  • Q: Can you eat the skin of a jicama?
  • A: While the skin of a jicama is safe to eat, it’s tough, fibrous, and can be hard to digest or clean properly, so it’s recommended to peel it before consuming the jicama.
  • Q: Is jicama poisonous?
  • A: No, jicama is not poisonous, but it contains a thin layer of sap that can cause skin irritation or allergies in some people, and its leaves and seeds are toxic and should be avoided.
  • Q: Can you freeze jicama?
  • A: Yes, you can freeze jicama, but it will become softer and lose some of its crispness and flavor. It’s recommended to blanch the jicama first, slice it into pieces or sticks, and store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
  • Q: What are some recipes that use jicama?
  • A: Some popular recipes that use jicama include jicama slaw, jicama sticks with guacamole or hummus, jicama fries or chips, jicama salad with citrus and avocado, jicama stir-fry with vegetables and tofu, and jicama salsa with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

References:

The Spruce Eats: How to Peel a Jicama

Allrecipes: How to Cut Jicama

Delish: How to Peel Jicama

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