Spicy Beef and Jícama

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Juicy, meaty, crunchy, hot-sweet, and spicy, this dish will please even first-time jícama tasters. A bowl of rice or noodles rounds out the meal. For those who like as many vegetables in a meal as I do, steamed or sautéed cabbage or mustard greens complement too.


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground hot pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • cups beef broth
  • pounds jícama
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger
  • Optional: 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • ¼ cup chopped mint or cilantro (coriander)


    1. Blend cornstarch, sugar, curry, and hot pepper in small bowl. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, and vinegar. Add broth.
    2. Quarter jícama. Pull off skin with paring knife, taking as much of the fibrous underlayer as will come off easily. Pare off remaining fibers. Cut ¼- to ½-inch cubes of jícama. Mince garlic. Peel ginger and chop enough to make 1 tablespoon. Seed, devein, and mince chilli if using.
    3. Heat wok over high heat. Pour in 1½ tablespoons oil and tip to distribute. Add jícama and toss until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to dish.
    4. Reduce heat to moderate; add remaining ½ tablespoon oil to wok. Add garlic, ginger, and optional chilli and toss briefly, until fragrant. Add beef, breaking it up and tossing to just cook through, about 2 minutes. Add jícama. Stir cornstarch mixture and add, tossing constantly until thickened.
    5. Scoop into heated dish, sprinkle with mint, and serve hot.

    Part of