Sometimes my mind goes to weird places. The other day, while I was waiting at the service deli at the store, I became fixated with a bizarre question: Could meat be sliced thin enough to be see-through? I ended up ordering 1/2 pound each of turkey pastrami and honey ham, as thin as humanly possible, as when I got home, I immediately tested it out.
Honey ham = not see-through. Parts were translucent, though! As for the turkey pastrami…
…also not see-through. Bummer.
I didn’t buy the meat just for experimentation purposes, though. I had another agenda, which involved… jicama!
Jicama (pronounced “hick-em-ma”) is a root vegetable that’s popular in Mexico. I’ve eaten it many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever bought a whole one before. They have a thin skin that’s a little tough to peel, but I got through it, thanks to a good peeler and my bulging muscles.
The inside of a jicama is white, and it’s very firm. I very easily chopped the whole thing into planks.
You can cook jicama, but it’s also raw. I really like jicama, and you might too, although it’s… strange. It’s light and airy, and very crisp, and is absolutely completely devoid of any flavor whatsoever. I’ve read descriptions where people compare it to raw potatoes or bland apples or pears, but I always think of it having the texture of a watermelon (juicy, crunchy) and the taste of a water chestnut (i.e. none).
Jicama is also fat-free and is low in calories. One cup has 50 calories. It’s a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Being low in flavor is no problem for me, though – that’s why I bought the meat. Taking a few slices of lunch meat and wrapping them around a jicama plank is an easy, healthy, satisfying snack. Here’s jicama and ham:
Jicama and turkey:
And jicama and fake meat:
That’s 1/2 a slice of Tofurky brand Peppered Turkey Deli Slices, which, by the way, also isn’t see-through – even though it is the most translucent.
The jicama and meat rollers are a fine snack, and easy to make. Add in the meat and it’s still healthy. For deli turkey and ham, you’re looking at around 30 calories per ounce, plus a couple grams of fat. Deli meat does tend to have a ton of sodium, though, so don’t go berserk.
I decided to roll up lots of these guys to bring to a party my friend Jen was throwing. That’s why I got the Tofurky – so there was a vegetarian option. I also included a bunch of plain jicama sticks, too. The platter ended up looking pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself!
There was only one thing missing: A dip for the center bowl! I had something simple and fantastic in mind… and to find out what I made, check out my next post on Friday. CLIFFHANGER!
Keep it up, David!