Stir-Fried Chicken, Jícama, and Carrots with Ginger

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Although jícama is usually served raw, it can be more interesting when cooked and seasoned, as in this light but substantial one-dish meal. Chicken thighs are more juicy and savory to my taste, but if white meat is your preference, substitute breasts and cut down on the cooking time. For variation, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or chopped peanuts. Serve with aromatic rice, quinoa, or millet.


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs (5 or 6 thighs)
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch or bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1 pound jícama
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2-inch chunk of ginger
  • 2 scallions (green onions)
  • 2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil


    1. Remove skin, fat, and bones from chicken. Cut meat into thin strips about 2 inches long.
    2. Combine cornstarch, brown sugar, and whiskey in a dish that will hold the chicken, stirring to blend. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Add chicken and toss. Cover and marinate 15 to 60 minutes, as convenient.
    3. Quarter jícama. With paring knife, pull off skin with as much of the fibrous underlayer as will come off easily. Pare off remaining fibers. Cut into bâtons about ¼ inch thick and 1½ inches long.
    4. Peel carrots. Slice ⅛ inch thick on the diagonal. Peel ginger; cut into finest julienne, to equal 1½ tablespoons. Thin-slice scallions, separating light and dark parts.
    5. Heat wok or wide skillet over moderate heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken strips. Cook until nearly done, about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally and pressing against pan. Transfer to dish.
    6. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add white part of scallions and ginger; toss. Add jícama and carrots; toss 1 minute. Cover and cook until vegetables lose their raw crunch, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan, add scallion greens, and toss a few seconds to mix.