|Pachyrhizus erosus |
BotanyThe jícama vine can reach a height of 4-5 metres given suitable support. Its root can attain lengths of up to 2 m and weigh up to 20 kilograms. The heaviest jícama root ever recorded was found in the Philippines which weighed up to 23 kilograms.
yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes.
In cookingchilli powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, oranges, red 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. In contrast to the root, the remainder of the jícama plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish.
Spread to AsiaDue to its growing popularity, cultivation of jícama has recently spread from Mexico to Central America, China and Southeast Asia, where notable uses of raw jícama include popiah and salads such as yusheng and rojak.
Jícama has become popular in Vietnamese food, where it is called cây củ đậu (in northern Vietnam) or củ sắn or sắn nước (in southern Vietnam). It is known by its Chinese name bang kuan to the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. In Mandarin Chinese, it is known as dòushǔ(豆薯). In the Philippines, jícama is known locally as singkamas. The Thai name is มันแกว ("man kaeo"). In Bengali, it is known as Shankhalu. In Hindi it is known as Mishrikand (मिश्रीकंद). In Telugu it is known as 'Kandha'. It is eaten during fast (उपवास) in Bihar (India). In Myanmar it is known as စိမ်းစားဥ. In Malay it is known by the name Ubi Sengkuang.
In Indonesia, Jícama is known as bengkuang. This root crop is only known by people in Sumatra and Java. Mostly they eat it at fresh fruit bars or mix it in the rujak (a kind of spicy fruit salad). Padang city in West Sumatra is called "the city of bengkuang". Local people might have thought that this jícama is the "indigenous crop" of Padang. The crop has been grown everywhere in this city and it has become a part of their culture.