Yam Bean Plant Information
Yam Bean grows in the following 2 states:Florida, Hawaii
Flowers, either blue or white, and pods similar to lima beans, are produced on fully developed plants. Several species of jicama occur, but the one found in [many] markets is Pachyrhizus erosus. The two cultivated forms of P. erosus are jicama de agua and jicama de leche: both named for the consistency of their juice. The leche form has an elongated root and milky juice while the agua form has a top-shaped to oblate root, a more watery translucent juice, and is the preferred form for market.Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as jicama (/hkm/; Spanish jcama [xikama](helpinfo); from Nahuatl xcamatl, [ikamat]), Mexican yam bean, or Mexican turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant's edible tuberous root. Jcama is a species in the genus Pachyrhizus in the bean family (Fabaceae). Plants in this genus are commonly referred to as yam bean, although the term "yam bean" can be another name for jcama. The other major species of yam beans are also indigenous within the Americas.
Other names for jicama include Mexican potato, ahipa, saa got, and Chinese potato. In Ecuador and Peru, the name jicama is used for the unrelated yacn or Peruvian ground apple, a plant of the sunflower family whose tubers are also used as food.
The jcama vine can reach a height of 4-5m given suitable support. Its root can attain lengths of up to 2m and weigh up to 20kg. The heaviest jcama root ever recorded weighed 23kg and was found in 2010 in the Philippines (where they are called singkamas). Jicama is frost-tender and requires 9 months without frost for a good harvest of large tubers or to grow it commercially. It is worth growing in cooler areas that have at least five months without frost, as it will still produce tubers, but they will be smaller. Warm, temperate areas with at least five months without frost can start seed 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. Bottom heat is recommended, as the seeds require warm temperatures to germinate, so the pots will need to be kept in a warm place. Jicama is unsuitable for areas with a short growing season unless cultured in a greenhouse. Tropical areas can sow seed anytime of the year. Subtropical areas should sow seed once the soil has warmed in the spring.
The root's exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes. Jcama is often paired with chili powder, cilantro, ginger, lemon, lime, orange, red onion, salsa, sesame oil, grilled fish, and soy sauce. It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico, it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combinations, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes. In contrast to the root, the remainder of the jcama plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish.
Spaniards spread cultivation of jcama from Mexico to the Philippines (where it is known as singkamas, from Nahuatl xicamatl), from there it went to China and other parts of Southeast Asia, where notable uses of raw jcama include popiah, fresh lumpia in the Philippines and salads in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia such as yusheng and rojak.
In the Philippines, jcama is usually eaten fresh with condiments such as rice vinegar and sprinkled with salt, or with bagoong (shrimp paste). In Malay, it is known by the name ubi sengkuang. In Indonesia, jcama is known as bengkuang. This root crop is also known by people in Sumatra and Java, and eaten at fresh fruit bars or mixed in the rojak (a kind of spicy fruit salad). Padang a city in West Sumatra is called "the city of bengkuang". Local people might have thought that this jcama is the "indigenous crop" of Padang. The crop has been grown everywhere in this city and it has become a part of their culture.
It is known by its Chinese name bang kuang to the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. In Mandarin Chinese, it is known as dush() or ling sh (), as sa1 got3 - (same as "turnip") in Yue Chinese/Cantonese, and as bng-kong -- in Teochew, where the word is borrowed from the Malay, and as dgu - in Guizhou province and several neighboring provinces of China, the latter term being shared with sweet potatoes. Jcama has become popular in Vietnamese food as an ingredient in pie, where it is called cy c u (in northern Vietnam) or c sn or sn nc (in southern Vietnam).
In Japanese, it is known as -- (kuzu-imo). In Myanmar, it is called --- (Sane-saar-u). Its Thai name is (man kaeo). In Cambodia, it is known as ------ /dmlo rluh/ or under its Chinese name as ---- ~ ----- /pek/. In Bengali, it is known as shankhalu ( ), literally translating to "conch (shankha, ) potato (alu, )" for its shape, size and colour. In Hindi, it is known as mishrikand (). It is eaten during fast () in Bihar (India) and is known as kesaur (). In Odia, it is known as ( ) Shankha Saru. In Laos, it is called man phao (), smaller and tastes a little sweeter than the Mexican type. It is used as a snack by peeling off the outer layer of the skin, then cutting into bite sizes for eating like an apple or a pear.
Jcama is high in carbohydrates in the form of dietary fiber. It is composed of 86-90% water; it contains only trace amounts of protein and lipids. Its sweet flavor comes from the oligofructose inulin (also called fructo-oligosaccharide) which is a prebiotic. Jcama is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
Jcama should be stored dry, between 12 and 16C (53 and 60F). As colder temperatures will damage the roots, jicama should not be refrigerated. A fresh root stored at an appropriate temperature will keep for a month or two.
More inforamtion about Yam Bean.