Jicama, Avocado + Crab Salad

Jicama is an ingredient that has intrigued me for a long time, yet I’ve been unsuccessful in actually trying it (note to self: it does not store well on the kitchen counter nor does it like to be abandoned altogether in the back of the fridge—it will get wrinkly and weird).

Jicama (pronounced HEE-ka-mah) was going to be something we tried no matter what the kids said, this time! So I went in search of a recipe that used it and most websites I found mentioned eating it just like a carrot stick—on it’s own or with a dip. When I went to the store, they only had giant jicamas so I bought the smallest one I could find. This underground tuber originated Mexico and South America (two different varieties). They are generally available year round in most major supermarkets. It’s a very low calorie root vegetable but loaded with lots of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants and is high in Vitamin C (providing 34% of daily recommendations per 100 g!)

I used some of it in the recipe I’m featuring here today but I also peeled and sliced up the rest of it into sticks, put in a container and filled with water to keep in the refrigerator. The reviews from my family were mixed: my son described it as the texture of a pear with the taste of an onion (?!?). My daughter, I think, really wanted to like it but was just not quite sure where to place the flavor. It is sweet but not like a fruit so I think that threw her off–her jury is still out! For me, I just couldn’t stop munching on the sticks—just plain!

I sliced up the extra into sticks, put into a container and added a little water to keep it fresh and ready for quick and easy muching!

Now on to the recipe—this one includes a lot of ingredients that we already love so that’s what appealed to me. And it was a snap to put together so even better! My whole family loved it and we decided minus the cucumber and subbing the jicama, it is like a Califrnia roll without the roll! Next time I’m going to try it with brown rice instead.

This recipe is originally from Star Chefs (adapted from Lynn Fredericks)

Jicama, Avocado + Crab Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: about 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice (Japanese sushi rice or regular medium-grain rice)
  • 1/2 very ripe avocado
  • 4-6 artificial crab sticks
  • 8 ounces jicama (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice until the water is absorbed.
  2. Peel the avocado and chop into small pieces. Place in a medium salad bowl.
  3. Cut up each crab stick into 5-6 small pieces (I cut them smaller b/c I wanted more chunks). Add to the bowl. Peel and cut up the jicama into small matchstick shapes or tiny dice.
  4. When the rice is cooked, turn it into a bowl to cool. When just slightly warm, add the mirin and vinegar and mix. Then add rice to the bowl with crab and vegetables. Just before serving, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the salad. It's a great side dish for Asian marinated meats or as a salad on it’s own!

 

Who'd think that this unassuming looking root vegetable would have a hidden sweet taste?

As usual, just a few simple ingredients is all you need! Next time I may try real lump crab instead of the imitation stuff!

So, what’s your family’s favorite fruit or vegetable that starts with the letter I or J? Share in the comments below.

 

© Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) for Meal Planning Magic, 2012