While it originated in North America, Jicama is probably most popular in China. Crunchy and mild, it is a perfect substitute for water chestnuts or bamboo shoots in salads or stir-fries. This tuber is not terribly handsome, but it does make a crisp and delicious low calorie peel-and-eat snack. Jicama thrives in hot climates. It needs a long, hot growing season.