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We are always looking for new and interesting side dishes that pair well with grilled proteins in the summer, and this jicama salad is one that we found in our local market. It’s a cool and refreshing combination of black beans, fire-roasted corn, ripe tomatoes, and crisp peppers along with fresh cut jicama. This root vegetable looks like an oversized white beet, but it has a lighter texture inside and it’s flavor profile most resembles a granny smith apple but less sweet and tart. Combined with these other ingredients, it’s a picnic-friendly crowd-pleaser that you can make in advance.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
If any of this recipe’s ingredients aren’t your favorites, you can always omit or substitute them. There is a nice balance in flavors and textures, however, so give it a try as-is before eliminating or adding any others.
In the printable recipe below, you can find a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
- Jicama: This is the signature ingredient that carries a lot of the texture profile in addition to providing a subtle background flavor that allows all of the others to shine. If you can’t find jicama at your local grocery store, you could substitute with granny smith apples, but you may want to add a touch more salt and cut back on the lime juice to balance out the sweetness and acid. Parsnip is another substitute, in which case add a little bit more lime juice.
- Fire-Roasted Corn: We use frozen fire roasted corn kernels that we found in our local grocery store. If you’ve got fresh corn on the cob available, take it outside and grill it first to get some of the fire-roasted flavor that helps it stand out in this salad. Or you could spread out frozen corn on a sheet pan and roast them under already-heated broiler for a couple of minutes to get some caramelization without over-cooking the rest of the kernels.
- Black Beans: This is our favorite bean for this salad, both for its visual contrast as well as its subtle, earthy flavor. We used canned black beans but you could also cook dried beans the night before and allow them to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Other options that would work include kidney, pinto or adzuki beans.
- Grape Tomatoes: These flavorful tomatoes are available throughout the year as they’re easily grown in greenhouses. It’s easy to quarter them for the perfect size to add to any salad. You can also look for any local, in-season options that may require a bit more work to dice, but you’ll be rewarded in flavor.
- Bell Peppers: In this recipe we used red bell peppers, but orange or yellow would also work well. Green bell peppers can be substituted, but you’d be missing some of the sweetness found in the other varieties. We included a jalapeño for a little spice, but you could just use poblano pepper.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Lime Juice: The acid ingredients play two roles in this recipe: to help balance the flavors; and to help preserve the freshness of the cut-up ingredients. You can use any citrus, but we found lime to be the most aligned with some of the other Southwestern flavors. You can also use any light-colored vinegar, but we suggest avoiding either red wine or balsamic since their flavors would likely dominate. And definitely don’t substitute with distilled vinegar.
What is Jicama
Jicama is a root vegetable that is native to Central and South America. This tuberous root is renowned for its mild, slightly sweet flavor and crunchy texture. It is often enjoyed raw, adding a refreshing element to salads and slaws, or as a crunchy snack when sliced into sticks or chips. Jicama is a versatile ingredient in various culinary traditions. It is prized for its ability to absorb the flavors of accompanying seasonings and dressings. Its low calorie and high fiber content make it a healthy choice for those seeking nutritious and satisfying alternatives to traditional starches.
How to Cut Jicama
Cutting jicama is a straightforward process once you know how to handle its tough outer skin.
- Wash the jicama thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt.
- Hold the jicama in one hand and the vegetable peeler or knife in the other. Start at the top and move the peeler/knife downward, following the contour of the jicama. Continue peeling in a downward motion, rotating the jicama as needed, until you have removed all of the tough outer skin.
- Slice off a small portion from both ends of the jicama.
- Cut the jicama in half then cut each half into planks which will make it easier to cut into cube-sized pieces.
- Cut each plank into long, thin sticks. The width of the sticks can vary depending on how large you want the cubes to be, but 5/8 of an inch is a good target.
- Take the jicama sticks and turn them 90 degrees, so the sticks are now lying flat. Then, make crosswise cuts to create cubes. The size of the cubes can be adjusted according to your preference.
How to Make Jicama Corn Black Bean Salad
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
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Pro-tip: If you don’t want to peel and cut fresh jicama, most grocery stores do sell cut jicama slices in the produce section.
1. Prep the Jicama: Following the directions above, peel and dice the jicama and set aside in a large mixing bowl. It should be about 30-40 percent of the overall volume of your salad depending on your preference.
2. Drain the Black Beans: Open the can of black beans and empty them into a colander over the sink, rinsing thoroughly. Add to the mixing bowl with the jicama.
3. Prep the Roasted Corn: For frozen corn, spread it out evenly in a quarter sheet pan and place it in a pre-heated broiler for 5 minutes. For frozen pre-roasted leave it out in the fridge overnight to thaw. For canned corn, empty into a colander over the sink, rinsing thoroughly. If you are working with fresh ears of corn, grill them before prepping the other ingredients to give them time to cool down before adding them to the rest of the salad. Once cooled, hold the ears vertically, and use a sharp knife to carefully cut the kernels away from the cob. Add the corn to the mixing bowl with the black beans and jicama.
4. Dice the Tomatoes and Peppers: These should be prepped last to keep them as fresh as possible, carefully folding them into the rest of the salad.
5. Dress with the Oil, Vinegar, and Lime Juice: These can be pre-mix before adding or just gently stir the salad thoroughly after adding each dressing ingredient.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This salad comes together quickly but it can all be made prepped in advance including the jicama. The jicama will take the longest to prep and cut but since it doesn’t brown you can prep that in advance then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the salad.
How to Store: Leftover jicama salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Give it an extra squeeze of lime juice to help buy it another day or two.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Roasted corn can be substituted for can corn. Drain and rinse the corn before adding to the salad.
- If using canned black beans make sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the salad.
- Let the flavors meld together and chill the jicama salad for 30 or so minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jicama tastes like a granny smith apple but it isn’t as tart or sweet.
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Jicama Corn Black Bean Salad
This recipe may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.
- 1 cup jicama, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ⅔ cup roasted corn
- ⅔ cup black beans
- ⅓ cup tomatoes, diced
- ⅓ cup red peppers, diced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Peel and cut jicama into small ½ inch cubes.
- In a medium bowl combine jicama, roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes, and red onions.
- Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, vinegar, and lime juice to the bowl with the other salad ingredients and gently toss to combine.
- Serve with chips or as a topping to fish, chicken, or tacos.