Singkamas / Jicama

Singkamas or Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) are jicamahitting the markets in droves these days. The hot dry weather is a perfect time to harvest the tubers that are in the same family as potatoes. Also known as a yam bean, Jicama originated in Mexico and figure significantly in the cuisine of that nation. They spread with the galleons in the 1600’s to the Philippines and onto other Southeast Asian countries and China. Although several local articles, books, quotes call this a turnip, I don’t think singkamas and real turnips are closely related, if at all. Turnips are part of the mustard family and the sharp taste differs from the mild taste of singkamas or jicama. The only similarity would be the turnip-like shape of singkamas… but otherwise, retailers who erroneously refer to this as “turnips” may want to change their signage. Singkamas have long vine-like tops that can grow up to 15+ feet long as opposed to a “head” of leaves on turnips. The vines are often used to tie up bunches of singkamas that are then put up for sale.

Many find this vegetable to be too bland. jicama2I happen to like it a lot. Perhaps another childhood imprint but I like singkamas peeled and eaten (preferably cold) with vinegar and salt. Certainly healthier than potato chips with the same flavor combination! I also like them in salads where they add texture and crunch. Singkamas is said to be very high in vitamin C and because it is so reasonably priced, within the reach of most. A large clump of small (young) singkamas were just PHP15 at the market recently. I don’t like the really large singkamas because they tend to get woody and dry. Jicama are now widely available in the U.S. and those with a taste for home can buy some relatively cheaply in the grocery and pair it with a sharp vinegar and some rock salt to re-create a childhood favorite or common adult snack!


25 Responses

  1. This is also a favorite of mine, especially during summer. I like to eat it as is, but very cold.

  2. Yes! Every true blue-bloodied probinsyano’s favorite actually. Put 1 or 2 “siling labuyo” in the vinegar and salt mixture for that cold-hot zing!

  3. Jufina, glad you like singkamas but sorry to burst your bubble, it is one of the most UN-nutritious vegetables/tubers around. Mostly water.

  4. hehe nice… i know them as bengkoang here in Jakarta. nice fruit lotsa water but quite fibrous if u get the large ones. i take it with fruit salt sometimes but most times with rujak sauce which is a mix of brown sugar chillies etc… yum!

  5. Oo nga. Singakamss talaga is delicious. Perfect for munching moments in front of t.v. or reading. Very juicy and crunchy!

  6. question: Can somebody tell me how singkamas is being grown and when would be the perfect time to harvest it.. Because i liked it a lot and maybe its better to plant my own, so the next time i would crave for singkamas i could just pick it up from my backyard… hehe.. Thank you.

  7. mas masarap ang singkamas kung may alamang na bagoong…. at kumain sa isang sulok na nakataas ang paa! he3x!

  8. masarap kainin ang singkamas pagkamainit ang panahon dahil narerefresh ka, kaya gusto ko malamang kung ano ang makukuhang vitamins dito

  9. victor says
    maliban sa masarap na kaininin, alkaline diet pa ito pag acidic ka kumain ka ng singkamas pag burp mo tanggal ang acidity mo

  10. My co-workers were all making fun of me because i told them that singkamas is jicama in english… They were correcting me… Turnips daw yun!!! bwahahaha… now that i got proof… i sent them all comments on their friendster… saying i was right and they were wrong!!! hahahahaha!!!


  11. I love singkamas. It’s not widely available here in japan though, and I am missing it right now just as the summer season is starting. Minor correction on your article… Pachyrhizus erosus and Solanum tuberosum (potato) belong to two separate families — the former is a legume (Fabaceae) whereas the latter belongs to Solanaceae.

  12. I’m growing Jicama in zone 7b of Maryland.
    When do I harvest the root? Do I wait for the vine to die?

  13. vitamin c pala nakukuha sa prutas na yan hehehe sa lahat ng naisip ko yun pa di ko na isip. vitamin a at fiber nasa utak ko hahahaha. pero masarap yan sawsaw mo sa suka hmmm yummmy

  14. very interestng forum.hahaha i just eat jicama.wink i loved it.i didn’t knw that jicama is rich in vit c.

  15. Love it as a salad (in vinegar and salt lang) and also as an ingredient in salads. OK din as filling of lumpia and as an ingredient of okoy. I haven’t tried singkamas fritters/chips yet but somebody said they taste awesome.

  16. (Sarap yong bagong hukay sa lupa, isawsaw sa asin at suka.)-
    tama ka rey masarap talaga…
    daming singkamas dito samin,parents ko d2 sa Mindanao nagtatanim…..



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.