Jicama vs Yuca: Are They the Same or Different?

The jicama and the yuca share a similar flavor profile. Those who are inexperienced with root vegetables have difficulty distinguishing between them because of their similarities. 

Don’t miss this article if distinguishing the differences between them is a challenge for you as well! We’ve put up a list of differences between the jicama and yuca to assist you in understanding the differences and correctly identifying these two veggies.

Quick Facts


  • Taste: sweet, mellow flavor like mix between a savory apple and a water chestnut
  • Nutritional value: rich in minerals and vitamin C
  • To use: requires peeling


  • Taste: sweet, mild, and nutty
  • Nutritional value: rich in starch
  • To use: requires peeling

What Is a Jicama?

The jicama, also known as a “Mexican turnip” or a “yam bean,” is a root vegetable of the bean species that has traditionally been raised in Central America and Mexico. 

It has a thin brown husk that you can remove carefully with a peeler or a sharp knife before preparing or consuming. Also, its sweetish and starchy flesh is like a fresh pear.

What Is a Yuca?

The yuca, sometimes called “cassava,” is one of the most adaptable crops on the planet. It is a nutty, starchy tuber from South America that is also found in Asia and portions of Africa. Some popular recipes for yucas show how to prepare them fried, cooked, or mashed. 

Some people consider it an essential carbohydrate in their diet. In fact, yucas are a crucial source of nutrition in the tropics and a dietary staple for many around the world. 

It also has become a significant crop in land-scarce countries due to its drought tolerance.

Differences Between the Jicama and the Yuca


When eaten raw, jicamas have a mellow flavor that tastes like a mix between a savory apple and a water chestnut.

Meanwhile, the yuca root’s starchy flesh is pale white or cream and has a gritty feel comparable to potatoes. The flavor of its flesh is typically characterized as sweet, mild, and nutty.

Nutritional value

Because of its high water and low sugar content, jicama is considered a low-calorie food. When coupled with high-fiber vegetables, it’s an appealing alternative to higher-carb vegetables. 

In addition, it’s abundant in minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Yucas are also a valuable source of starch. Both of these root vegetables, jicamas and yucas, aid in maintaining the immune system.

Moreover, yucas are a valuable energy source for individuals who engage in physical activity, such as sports, due to their high carbohydrate content. In addition, dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium are all abundant in this veggie.


Jicamas are simple to consume after the outer layer is removed. To peel one, cut off both ends using a sharp knife and set on a cutting board to form a stable foundation. Then, peel the jicama as carefully as possible, following its curvature. Yucas can be peeled the same way. 

The jicama may be peeled and divided like an onion. First, cut it in half and then slice it into 1/2-inch thick slices, or you can dice it. Then, it can be eaten raw, baked as fries, or sautéed with other veggies.

Similarly, for yucas, you must remove their tough skin before cooking. Yucas can be cooked, steamed, roasted, fried, or mashed after peeling. You can eat them separately or use them in various recipes. Because of the starchy texture, yuca is excellent served with mojo, aioli, or a sauce.


What should I use as a substitute for jicama in salads?

In a salad, Asian pears can replace jicama since their textures are similar. Asian pears resemble apples more than pears, yet they belong to the pear family. 

Moreover, they are golden brown and have crisp white meat similar to an apple but with a bit more moisture. Asian pears also have a sweet and tangy flavor, similar to a sweet type of granny apple. In salads, Asian pears can be used as a substitute for jicama.

Does the texture of the water chestnut differ from that of a jicama?

The texture of water chestnuts is identical to that of jicama. The textures of these two veggies are similar, which means even after frying, they retain their crispness. 

Like jicama, water chestnuts may be eaten uncooked. However, it would be best if you only consumed these veggies raw when they are still fresh. 

Water chestnuts are a nutrient-dense food. Therefore, people add them to their diets in various ways. For example, you may boil, sauté, or roast water chestnuts in addition to eating them uncooked.

How should I store yuca?

Find tubers that are firm and without blemishes. Store the entire yuca root in a cold, dark, and dry location for two weeks, much like potatoes. You may also remove the root, put it in a container, cover it with water, and store it in the refrigerator for several days, or you can tightly wrap the yuca and freeze it for months.

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