I hadn’t even heard of jicama until about a week ago when I was puttering around Wal-Mart and stumbled upon a muddy brown blobbish thing nestled between the mangoes and kiwi. “Jicama – Mexico’s favorite fruit” a sign read. Well. I should know what Mexico’s favorite fruit tastes like!
I was kind of surprised that something that ugly could be anyone’s favorite, to be honest. It looks like the child of a russet potato and a turnip, and is especially bland looking compared to the colorful mangoes, apples, and citrus surrounding it. Nevertheless, I had Wikipedia open on my phone in minutes and read this:
“Jícama is often paired with chili powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, oranges, onion, salsa, sesame oil, grilled fish and soy sauce. It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico, it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combos, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes.”
Uhhhh all right. Can’t live without it.
Naturally, after I bought it, it started cropping up everywhere (AKA on pinterest). I didn’t know how to use it, but then I saw a pin for jicama fries and I thought, “Bingo!”
Evidently, jicama is a great substitute for potatoes because it has a teeny amount of carbs comparatively, but still captures that iconic starchiness fries and such strive for. I particularly liked the jicama fries because they retain their crispiness and have a subtle sweetness to them that’s similar to a pear.
Combined with the slight tang of lemon juice, herbs de provence, and some salt, that sweetness was the most magical thing I’ve ever tasted.
And since we’re on that topic, herbs de provence is an herb combination from the heavens. It contains savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender and tastes good on just about anything. I think my favorite part of it is the lavender. Not many people think of lavender as edible, but getting that subtle hint on your sweet potato is simply inspiring. It makes me want to just cook with lavender ALL THE TIME.
As for the dipping sauce; it’s not really necessary, but as the jicama is mexican I thought it’d be nice to add a little mexican flair in there with lime. The fries are good plain, and they’d probably also fare well with ketchup, but the yogurt sauce is just the perfect amount of tangy for the softly sweet crisp of the jicama. If I were you, I’d give it a try.
Jicama Fries with Lime Yogurt Sauce
Jicama, sliced into fry shapes
Herbs de Provence (or other seasoning, but this is the best)
Lemon or lime juice
For the sauce:
Plain greek yogurt
1. Slice jicama into slender rectangles. Place in bowl and toss with olive oil. Add seasonings, garlic, and lemon juice to taste.
2. Place in preheated 435F oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. Flip about fifteen minutes in.
3. For the sauce, combine the three ingredients (equal amounts yogurt and lime; honey to taste) and stir well. Enjoy.