Jicama Root Vegetable Salad

Jicama Salad with Fish Sauce and Lime Dressing [Recipe]

Fish sauce is a much-maligned ingredient in American cooking. Fish sauce is made from the liquid of salted fish or krill that has been fermenting for up to two years, giving fish sauce a very potent and distinct flavor and smell. Understandably, many people are wary of using fish sauce because of the very strong and pungent odor it emits. However, once you get past the smell of fish sauce, you’ll open up to an incredible world of delicious opportunities.

In Southeast Asian cuisine, fish sauce is a widely utilized ingredient that’s used to season and flavor a myriad of different dishes. Fish sauce is especially prominent in Thai and Vietnamese cooking where curries, salad dressings, sauces, marinades and so many other foods are accented with fish sauce.

Fish sauce is very salty, but the fermentation also gives it a wonderfully complex and deep flavor with a briny and sweet finish. These flavor profiles give fish sauce an unparalleled ability to bring profound savory complexity and rich umami flavor to a dish.

Be careful not to use too much fish sauce in a dish and make sure to taste your food repeatedly to keep the seasoning on track. Since fish sauce is so salty and strong in flavor, a deft hand is required to ensure that the fish sauce does not overpower the dish.

Jicama Salad Recipe

Rating: 4.5/5
Serves: 4 ServingsDifficulty: MediumApprox. Cost: $22.00
Prep Time: 40 MinutesTotal Time: 40 Minutes

This recipe calls for using fish sauce, lime, sugar and chili peppers to create a bright, assertive dressing.

Jicama, the slightly sweet and crunchy Mexican root vegetable, is a terrific vehicle to soak up the wonderful fish sauce dressing. Tossing that dressing with jicama, carrots, shaved red onion, cilantro, mint and toasted peanuts makes for a simple yet vibrant and refreshing salad that will excite your
entire palate.

This recipe is a great way to get comfortable using fish sauce and to get a sense for its flavor profile. It’s not too fishy, but still has the pungency of fish sauce. You should be able to find jicama at your local grocery store, but if not, try an Asian or Latin market. If you’re unable to find jicama, 2 cans of sliced water chestnuts would make a great substitute.



  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 2 Thai green chilies (or 1 small jalapeno), minced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • 1 medium-sized jicama, peeled and shredded with a cheese grater
  • ½ cup (170 grams) shredded carrots
  • 1 small red onion, shaved thin
  • Small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ small bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (170 grams) peanuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  2. Toss the dressing with the jicama, carrots and onions.
  3. Top the salad with the chopped herbs and peanuts. Serve chilled.

image: Lauryann

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