Zesty Jícama, Cilantro and Lime Slaw
Tacos. Did you know it been over 100 years since the first mention of the taco in the United States? I know, like you, I thought that the taco has always been with us. The Mexican culture has been using tortillas around meats and eating them all the way to the ancient Aztecs. However, the food from Mexico didn’t start arriving in the United States until the refugees brought it with them during the Mexican Revolution.
When these refugees arrived in the 1880’s wanted to eat the food of their homeland. First, it was at home and then it started to get sold in Mexican restaurants. We started to see this happen in Southern California about the 1920’s as taquitos.
With out a long dissertation on the history of Mexico, immigration, and food, it’s safe to say that the influence of the coast line and the bounty of fish. I applaud those people who had a quest to top their tacos with something that would compliment so well.
This slaw is not just great with tacos. I have found that this slaw is perfect with spiced rubbed chicken (polo) or steak (carne asada)
- 1 Small red or green cabbage (use a mix for more colorful slaw)
- kosher salt
- 1 Medium jícama (peeled and quartered (about 1 lb))
- 4 scallions (the white and green parts, thinly sliced in a diagonal about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
- 1 jalapeño (seeded, and minced)
- Using your food processor apply the 4mm slicing disk and thinly slice the cabbage; this should yield about 6 packed cups. Place the sliced cabbage in a colander and toss it with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt. Place a plate that will fit inside the colander on top of the cabbage and set a heavy can or a filled jar on top of the plate. This will help expel any liquid the cabbage has in the sink or place this over a bowl and allow to drain for 2 hours. (this will help your slaw not be watery (yes that's a technical term))
- In the processor change your disk to the grating disk and grate the jicama. This should yield about 2 cups. Place the Jicama in a large bowl and toss in the scallions and the cilantro.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice and jalapeño.
- Remove the cabbage from the colander and place in a clean dishtowel or paper towels and pat the cabbage dry completely. Toss the cabbage with the jicama mixture. Season to taste with additional kosher salt and lime juice as needed.
- Yields 5 to 6 cups.
- Serve this zesty salad alongside grilled chili-rubbed chicken or steak, or fried or grilled fish tacos.