Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jicama / Yam Bean / Seng Kuang. All the same yummy thing!

Jicama / Yam Bean / Seng Kuang

Here's a picture of one of my favorite root vegetable, which we, here in Malaysia, call Seng Kuang. My mum was going to cook one of my all time childhood favorite dishes called Joo Hoo Char. But before she could cook it, I swiped some of the raw shredded root vege to, what else, eat it raw. Normally, I'd just cut chunks of Jicama, put it into the fridge to cool, and eat it cold with some sugar, soy sauce, fresh and raw finely cut chili mixture.

Here's the picture of the more "advanced" version of the sauce which by the way, though not raw, is extremely yummy.

Sweet, savoury fruit and vegetable dipping sauce

1 finely chopped chili (remove seed if you don't want it too spicy)
1 teaspoon of fine grade soy sauce (meaning, use the better quality, first pressed soy sauce)
1/4 onion, sliced thinly and fried in oil until it is caramelized
3 tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon pounded dried shrimp (fry in the pan without any oil until fragrant and pound the shrimp with a pestle and mortar or if you don't have dried shrimp, add a dash of fish oil)

Mix it all together, and let the mixture sit for about an hour for the mixture to meld.

The Jicama is full of water, so the Chinese believe it is an excellent vegetable to eat during hot summer months as it will help to cool the body down. The Jicama is crunchy, like an apple so it's great to eat it to exercise the gums. I let my 3 year old chew on this while he watches his cartoons to exercise his gums and clean his teeth as well.

The Jicama has no distinct fragrance. It is sweet and mild tasting. Perfect for people who don't feel well, but need to eat something to keep their strength up. In fact, Yang-Yang, my 3 year old confuses it with apples. And just like an apple, it is high in dietary fiber and Vitamin C. By the way, it is also high in potassium. Potassium is great for people who want to reduce their blood pressure. If you know anyone who has high blood pressure, ask them to eat a slice a day as one of the enjoyable ways to keep the blood pressure in check.

It's been really hot for more than month now in Malaysia and Singapore, so, this is a great food to eat raw now.


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