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New Ingredient: Jicama (#fail)

November 1, 2011

After a month-long hiatus, the New Ingredient Challenge was supposed to return last night. I picked up a small jicama from the massive pile at Safeway, having only had it on salad before and not knowing that in unpeeled form it resembles a round yucca.

What is jicama?

Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters.

One thing I didn’t know: jicama should be refrigerated and goes bad quickly. (This despite sitting in an unrefrigerated heap at the grocery store — go figure!)

When after a couple of days, the jicama developed a few soft, wet spots, I thought, ‘Okay, better make this soon.’ Well, it turns out that’s the first sign of rot and once I cut the vegetable open, the sickly stench of rotten vegetable became evident. Ugh.

Into the trash it went! Ew.

I’d try jicama again — it’s something I’ve had on salads in restaurants and feel fairly neutral about — but it’s going to take some time to get the memory of that disgusting odor out of my head. Ew.

Rather than call dinner a bust and whip up a bowl of cereal, I was determined to enjoy the gorgeous leftover salmon from The Capital Grille.

20 minutes later, a CSA sweet potato (with a shake of curry powder and olive oil) and head of broccoli, plus some garlicky spinach, were ready to go.

I hardly ever cook a ‘real’ dinner anymore — I always eat a healthy dinner, but more often than not it’s random ingredients thrown together, not a proper meal — but as I sat down to eat, I thought, ‘Now this is a real dinner.’

So there was no new ingredient last night, just old favorites. But aren’t old favorites sometimes the best? And if you leave the table satisfied, maybe that’s all that matters.

What cooking #fail have you had lately? Have you cooked jicama before?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    November 1, 2011 9:41 am

    I tried to make teriyaki meatloaf in my crock pot. It was awful.

    I’ve had jicama and I didn’t like it. I didn’t hate it either. Try frying it like you would with zucchini!

  2. November 1, 2011 10:06 am

    I actually hate jicama! i hate water chestnuts too and for some reason, the consistency reminds me of water chestnuts.

    • November 1, 2011 10:50 am

      While Googling recipes, several sites recommended subbing jicama for water chestnuts, so your dislike makes sense. (and I hate ’em, too)

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