Category Archives: Jicama

Jicama (Bangkuang – 地瓜)

I always see Jicama in every wet market and supermarket in Singapore and Malaysia but only in Mexican stores in Florida, well, occasionally in supermarkets catering to local American cuisine (when in season, I guess). Everyone knows what a Jicama tuber looks like, right? What about the rest of the plant, which is a vine?

My average size harvest

My average size harvest

I began growing my own from seeds given to me by my Mexican amigo and to-date, every time it begins flowering, I am awed by its floral beauty. This season, because I’ve decided to improve my basic photography style (I dare not call it a skill, yet) I’ve decided to share some clearer shots of Jicama buds and blooms not seen by many who eat their roots. These (unfortunately) will have to be cut off today or tomorrow to stimulate its tuberous root growth.

in bunches at the end of the vine stem

in bunches at the end of the vine stem

some buds have turned to blooms

some buds have turned to blooms


Pretty though they may be they are poisonous so if you see some, do to be careful when handling. Wash your hands if you have been in contact with its sap.

If you have children or pets, do not allow them to play or chew on flowers or leaves.

I will only retain 1 plant/vine in its blooming state and after pollination it will produce hard shell pods which will provide me with seeds for next year’s planting.

blooms are beautiful BUT poisonous

Yes, blooms are beautiful BUT poisonous

Remember ~ only the tuberous ROOT of this plant is edible, not any other and don’t try to find out if this is true or not.  You have been forewarned. ❗

Jicama (Bangkuang/地瓜) 8 months after Sowing

It was nice weather today, cool but not chilly, bright but not sunny.  A superb time to prepare the soil and check long-term crops like Pineapples, Bananas &  Jicama.  It’s been 8 months since sowing Jicama seeds and today’s check shows that it is growing well.

8-month old Jicama

8-month old Jicama

In 2 – 3 months, these will be nice and big ~ I call them “market size” ~ and can be dug up for salads, popiah (egg roll), curries, whatever tickles the fancy then.

Fall’s food-growing is now going to get into full swing to prepare for Winter and my long term plan of a mini-Permaculture Food Forest in my backyard.

Jicama – Bangkuang – 地瓜

Commonly found in wet-markets. I used to buy it all the time but never knew what the plant looked like, didn’t know that the entire plant, except for the tuberous root, was poisonous either. It’s actually a beautiful plant and a superb groundcover, takes about 10 months from seed to harvest in my climate zone so it’s ideal to grow in the side beds and block weeds.Image

Very pleasant and green.

And the flowers are just beautiful.Image

But have to remember that both are poisonous and to keep neighbours’ pets away from.

At least I can claim to recognize the common Bangkuang when I dig it out 😀

ImageI have to remember to cut off all flowering stems to allow the roots to get nice and bulbous except for just 1 plant in order to get some pods & seeds for the next planting.


Out with the cutting board and long sharp knife (after rinsing the roots i.e.) and cut as needed for whatever dish in mind.


Nice, juicy and sweet ~ ideal for Rojak!

Or actually also good with just haykor or shrimp sauce.

But tonight I will make Popiah which I always tell American friends are unfried Spring Rolls.

OK, so my Popiah is not as professionally round & tight wrapped as the hawkers’ version but it sure tastes good in the mouth. ImageAmerican homemade Popiah 😀