Posted by: cris | December 7, 2012

Singkamas (Jicama) Part 1

Singkamas (Tagalog), Jicama (“HIC-a-ma.”), Yam Bean, Potato Bean, Bang kuan (chinese), Bengkuang (Indonesia), Ubi sengkuang (Malay)

Aside from being a low calorie food, Singkamas is a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, and has small amounts of copper, magnesium, and Vit E. It is a good source of calcium and iron (even the young pods). But you have to be careful because seeds also yield a poisonous substance which is toxic to fish when pounded and dropped in water and toxic to dogs. Seeds also yield toxic resin. So to stay safe, just use the seeds for planting and nothing else. This leguminous vine plant grows up to 20 feet (6 meters) in length and when left on the ground, the roots grow from them.

In the Philippines, the roots are eaten raw and young pods are cooked as vegetable. During my school days, it is sold in carts sliced and topped with sauted tiny shrimps (Bagoong alamang). Mature Singkamas is also used as addition to Shanghai Lumpia and spring rolls.

In Mexico, it is cut into strips like carrots, and added to salad, They also marinate it in Mexican Lime and served topped with chili powder. Since mexican lime is not available, try marinating it in calamansi before eating.

According to http://nutritiondata.self.com, a cup of singkamas (120g) provides you with zero fat, zero cholesterol, zero sodium, and total carbohydrates of 11g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 2g, Protein 1g. It has Vitamin A and Calcium 1%, Vit C 40%, Iron 4%, (based on 2000, calorie diet)

Just an additional info, those with an allergy with peanuts, beware. Since Jicama is a cousin of peanuts, you may also have an allergy with this.

Here are other ways to eat Jicama (Singkamas) I got from the web:

Jicama salad with sweet fish sauce dressing and grilled steak.

Cut it up like french fries, season them with salt and eat it with salsa or humus or guacamole (avocado based sauce) or ranch dressing or lime juice.

Cut jicama, watermelon, cucumber, orange, mango, pineapple,(or any other fruit you want). Then add lime, salt and hot sauce mix it all together and enjoy!

Fresh salad of jicama, mangoes, pomegranates, blueberries with lime juice as dressing.

Sliced and soaked with lime juice, salt and a bit of red pepper, the kind used on corn on the cob.

Tip: when buying Singkamas, choose the small and firm one 150px-Pachyrhizus_erosus_2for best flavor! the bigger ones are not very sweet. When the skin is already brown, its not as sweet as it used to.

sources:
http://stuartxchange.com/Sinkamas.html
http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Pachyrhizus/index.html
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-jicama.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/article/488604-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-jicama/
photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachyrhizus_erosus


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