You probably know jicama for its use in salads or as crudite, but of the most overlooked and yet tasty things you can do with jicama is to make jicama chips. Yes – jicama chips! They’re light and crunchy with just the tiniest yet tantalizing amount of sweetness.
First things first, for the uninitiated: Jicama is a crunchy tuber that’s a little larger than a softball and is covered with a papery bark-like skin. Simply put, it looks and feels like an overgrown potato. Most people peel it and eat it raw, which is a great way to enjoy its crunchiness. But there’s even more magic to be found once you bake it and bring out its natural sweetness.
To get started with your jicama, first slice off the top and the bottom of the tuber so that it rests flat on the counter. Then take a knife and cut the skin off piece by piece. Once you have a “naked” jicama, you can cut it, grate it, or slice it into any shape you like.
To make jicama chips, we read through countless recipes, each with different cooking times and temperatures. But once we got to the experimental stage, we realized that the process reminded us almost exactly of making watermelon bacon. Watermelon starts out so watery that you basically have to dehydrate it first before you can make it crispy. That’s why we had the most success in adapting this recipe from Cara Mangini, a.k.a. the Vegetable Butcher as featured in The Kitchn, where she suggests that you cook the chips low and slow for a long period of time. This technique gave the jicama a chance to dry out before crisping up… and it gave us the most consistent and snack-worthy results.
To make these chips, we sliced them super-thin with a food processor, brushed them with olive oil, and dusted them with lemon pepper. Don’t skip the oil – it’s essential for getting the seasoning to stick to the jicama.
- 1 medium sized jicama
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Prepare the jicama: Cut off the top and bottom of the jicama, then cut the coarse brown skin off with a chef's knife. Chop the jicama into long shapes that will fit into the feeder of your food processor.
- Using a food processor, slice the jicama into paper-thin slices.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then arrange the jicama slices evenly on the parchment paper. Brush lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, and grind lemon pepper on top of the slices.
- Bake for 30 minutes; flip, lightly brush and sprinkle the reverse side with olive oil and lemon pepper, and then bake for another hour (for approximately 90 minutes' worth of total baking time.) The chips are done when they are uniformly crispy and light golden brown.
Oh, did we mention lemon pepper? We’re partial to this lemon pepper spice grinder from Melissa’s Produce – it’s tart, spicy, and just a little sweet. These chips are seriously addicting… and if for some reason you are able to resist eating all of them right away, they also make a great crunchy topper for a salad or a veggie bowl.
Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s provided me with jicama and lemon pepper for this post. I did not otherwise receive compensation. All opinions expressed are my own.