Papaya and Jicama Aguachile

A refreshing Mexican classic goes vegetarian and makes for a perfect starter or light meal.

Papaya and Jicama Agachile
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

This take on aguachile isn't exactly a salad, and it's not quite ceviche, but it is 100 percent delicious. Aguachile, which simply translates to "chile water," is traditionally made with raw shrimp or white-fleshed fish that's cured gently in a mixture with an acid such as citrus juice. This vegetarian aguachile swaps in fruit for the usual seafood and makes a refreshing starter or snack. If you're not familiar with jicama, it's a root vegetable with thin brown skin and crisp white, mild, and subtly sweet flesh. Find it year-round in Latin American markets or in most supermarkets.


  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (from 6 or 7 limes)

  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • cup fresh mint leaves

  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice or peppercorns

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ medium English cucumber, cut into rounds (about 1 cup), divided

  • 1 pound firm-ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in. chunks (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 pound jicama, peeled and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 avocados, chopped

  • Olive oil, corn tostadas, and saltine crackers, for serving


  1. Combine lime juice, chile, garlic, mint, allspice, salt, and half of cucumbers in a blender. Process on medium until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to a large bowl.

  2. Toss papaya, jicama, and onion in sauce until completely coated. Place in a shallow serving bowl, spooning on any leftover sauce. Top evenly with avocados and remaining cucumber. Drizzle with oil and serve with tostadas and saltines.

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