Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    by C.K. Now that winter is over and spring had finally sprung, it’s time to spend more outdoors than indoor activities.  I’m  sure that even the pets we have wants to wonder around in this wonderful weather.  I just got a glimpse of the crocuses on our rock garden and a few perennials  coming back from [...]

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Page added on May 26, 2011

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JICAMA (SINGKAMAS)

Summer time in the Philippines means  Jicama time!  A very popular street food paired with bagoong (shrimp paste) eaten raw, peeled and chilled. Contrary to the common belief,  the use of jicama goes beyond street food  snacking. It  is a versatile extender, mostly used as additional ingredients in many Chinese dishes.  Therefore, jicama is a nice complement to various stir-fry dishes because it blends well with many vegetables and seasonings. I hope you will enjoy some of the recipes in our taste-buds below to give a very common ingredient a well deserved highlight.

Commonly termed as singkamas,Jicama is between the legume/bean  and tuber food family groups. It’s turnip and radish  appearance with  water chestnut taste  is native to  Mexico, Central and South America, where it is a popular dietary staple. Spaniards  introduced   jicama  to the Philippines in the 17th century and it became popular in Southeast Asia and China. Here are the many names for Jicama: the Mexican potato, Mexican yam bean, ahipa, saa got, Chinese turnip, lobok, the Chinese potato and of course in our native tongue- singkamas.

Singkamas   skin is thin and can be gray, tan, or brown in colour. It has white flesh  with a  taste and texture similar to a water chestnut, as well as being  crisp, sweet and nutty, similar to a pear or an apple, or a cross between an apple and a potato. Jicama is mostly eaten peeled and raw. Singkamas tends to take on the flavors of the ingredients with which it is being combined, similar to the characteristics of mushrooms. Jicama contains a high amount of vitamin C, is low in sodium, and has no fat. One adult single serving of singkamas, approximately 1 cup of cubes (120 grams), contains only 45 calories.

Jicama is available year-round. When purchasing jicama, select those that are firm and have dry roots. Make sure that the jicama has an unblemished skin that is not bruised. Once purchased, jicama can be stored for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

NOTE: Do not eat other parts of the jicama plant as they may be poisonous.  Mature seeds have a fairly high content of rotenone, a chemical used as an insecticide and pesticide!

TASTE-BUDS

Fresh Vegetable/Jicama  Rolls (Lumpiang Singkamas)

Ingredients:

1 jicama, large, cut julienne

½ kilo lean pork, sliced thinly

¼ kilo shrimp, sliced

1 carrot, medium, cut julienne

½ cup  green beans, French cut

1 medium sweet potato, cut julienne

1 cup cabbage, shredded

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsps. Fish sauce

Pepper to taste

6 rice papers

PEANUT SAUCE:

½ cup smooth peanut butter

1        Tbsps soy sauce

¼  cup  brown sugar

2  cups water

Procedure:
Bring water to  boil in a medium pan. Add peanut butter and sugar.
Stir until ingredients have blended well. Add soy sauce.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Saute onion and garlic until  translucent.  Add pork and shrimp and fish sauce.
Add jicama, carrots and cook for few minutes. Add beans and sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cabbage, stir slightly and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat  and wrap in rice paper.
Pour sauce over top of the roll
Sprinkle with ground peanuts.

Mango/Jicama Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup medium ripe mango, julienne cut

1 cup jicama, julienne cut

1 small red bell pepper, julienne cut

½ cup carrots, julienne cut

2 Tbsps Fish sauce

¼ cup  vinergar

Pepper to taste

2  Tbsps sugar

Procedure:
In a medium size bowl, mix all vegetables.
In a small bowl  pour fish sauce, sugar, pepper and vinegar. Mix well
Pour over vegetables, mix  until well blended
Keep chilled  in the fridge until serving time.

Asado with  Jicama

Ingredients:

1 kilo pork, cubed
2 tbsps. soy sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 tbsps. oyster sauce
1 singkamas, cut into strips

PROCEDURE:
Marinate the pork in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and oyster sauce for a few minutes.
Braise in a pan together with the singkamas.
Cook until pork is very tender.









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