Crunchy, spicy, salty, tangy, and sweet, this refreshingly delicious Mango, Jicama and Cucumber Salad is a delightful change of pace from your standard green salad. Celebrate warm weather in style with this yummy side dish that is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and cook outs!
The warm weather is approaching and there is nothing I enjoy more than frolicking in the sun and less time in the kitchen, at the hot stove or oven. This easy to assemble, no-cook side dish incorporates chopped mango, jicama, cucumber, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a dash of salt and my favorite spice…Tajin.
Why I Love This Recipe
Tajin seasoning reminds me of growing up in El Paso and driving to the border of Juarez, Mexico to take my sister to the orthodontist. While my sister was being tortured, my mom and I would walk to the nearest street vendor and order mangos on a stick with chile powder.
I’m guessing this wouldn’t have been the easiest treat for my sister to eat with her braces so my mom and I would go a la escondiditas (secretly). I’m sorry, sister – I hope you are not mad! Oh, the memory just makes my mouth water.
While our usual treat was sweet mango with Tajin and lime, street vendors as far as Los Angeles will also sell bags of cucumbers or jicama sticks with the same seasonings. It only makes sense in my mind that we put all the pieces together and make the perfect summer salad.
Sweet mango, cool, crunchy cucumber, and lightly starchy jicama are a stellar textural and flavor combination. When you add my favorite seasoning of Tajin and lime to the mix, you get pure perfection! Oh, and since all of these veggies and fruits are loaded with water, this is a completely crave-able combo when it is hot outside.
Not only is this mango, jicama, and cucumber salad quick to throw together, it also gets better the longer it sits. All of the fruits and veggies are sturdy enough to hang out on a buffet table or picnic blanket for the long haul without their flavor or texture diminishing. If that isn’t the perfect quality for a summer salad, I honestly don’t know what is!
What is Jicama?
Pronounced “HICK-uh-ma,” jicama is also known by the names Chinese turnip, Mexican yam, or Mexican water chestnut. This root vegetable is native to Mexico, but has spread to the Philippines and Asia as a result of globalization. It requires warm weather and a long growing season, so it grows well in places that don’t usually frost over.
This golden-brown, papery skinned vegetable is deliciously crisp with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. As it’s alternate names imply, some folks compare it to water chestnuts, turnips, or yams. While the flesh is slightly starchy, I feel like the best description is a cross between a pear in terms of sweetness and a raw potato in terms of consistency.
High in fiber, water, vitamins and antioxidants, jicama is a very healthy food. While I love eating it raw with just a touch of lime juice and Tajin as seasoning, it’s a pretty darn versatile veg. Feel free to add it to stir fries, salads, or veggie trays. You can even turn it into a healthy version of french fries!!
How to Make Cucumber Mango Salad
This salad is so easy, you’re going to flip. First, cut and dice a mango, peel and chop a jicama, and peel, deseed, and chop a cucumber. Watch this full length video to see how simple this salad comes together.
Now combine the mango, jicama, cucumbers, Tajin (or chili powder), lime juice, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. That’s it! How easy was that?!?
Frequently Asked Questions
I often buy Tajin, the fruit and snack seasoning chile powder sold at our local grocery store, which has ground chile peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. If you have access to this brand, I highly recommend it.
Absolutely! One of the best things about this combination of fresh ingredients is that the flavors get better over time. I recommend allowing it to sit for at least an hour before serving, but any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
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Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad
- 2 yellow small mangos, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 red/green mangos, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon chile powder or Tajin
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
- Salt to taste
- In a mixing bowl combine the mango, jicama, cucumbers, chile, lime juice, and salt.
- Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- The longer the salad sits, the more flavorful it becomes. A perfect complement to any dish on a sunny day.
- I often buy Tajin, the fruit and snack seasoning chile powder sold at our local Mexican grocery store, which has ground chile peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. If you have access to this brand I highly recommend it.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: May 2011. This recipe is also published in the Muy Bueno cookbook.