December 23, 2004

Jicama Pickles

Or maybe Picama Jickles, or you can throw in the Phillipine name for the root, and put together a blue ribbon tongue twister.

Jicama by itself does little for the tongue. It has, to put it politely, a delicate flavor. What it has in abundance is crunch. I love crunch, in cookies and in carrots. I seek it in pickles, but nothing comes close to a jicama for keeping its crisp thru heat and vinegar. You could use them in a standard dill pickle recipe, but that delicate flavor calls for something more substantial. Here are two variants found online long since, as I have tuned them.

Pickled Jicama

1 1/2 to 2 pounds jicama, scrubbed
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon dry dill weed
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup sugar

Peel jicama and cut into sticks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches long. Place sticks in a nonreactive bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the salt, and add enough water to cover. Stir until salt is dissolved, then let stand at least 1 or up to 2 hours; drain.

Pack jicama upright into 2 wide-mouthed 1-pint jars. In each jar, put half the mustard seed, dill weed, chilies, and cilantro.

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, bring to a boil the vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon salt, onion, and sugar. Boil, uncovered, for 1 minute, then pour hot mixture into jars to cover jicama. Let cool, then cover tightly and chill at least until next day or up to 1 month. Makes 2 pints.

Grampa's Sinkamas

1 large jicama
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
6 cloves garlic
ginger, sliced - shorten a fresh root about a half inch by slicing thinly
red hot peppers - start with half a tee as above; I like'm hotter

Peel and cut jicama as above. Brine soak and drain as above. Boil sugar, vinegar, 2 cups of the water, garlic, ginger and peppers together. Pour over sinkamas in jar. Refrigerate when cool. This recipe, as found online, calls for garlic bread. That just makes a mess.

Either recipe can be hot processed per your best practice for storage.

Posted by triticale at December 23, 2004 11:31 PM

As I played with my veggie enchilada recipe, I finally decided that crunch was needed and I added jicama. In a pinch (not for your pickled recipes, but otherwise) water chestnuts work well too.

Posted by: Ted at December 27, 2004 12:09 PM
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