Find out about this popular root vegetable
You can replace taro root in just about any recipe that uses potatoes.
No, it’s not a funny shaped coconut, it’s taro root. Also known as corm, the underground root of the taro plant grows to about the size of a turnip in an oblong shape with brown, fibrous skin. The flesh is white to cream colored with a crispy texture and nutty flavor.
Taro root and leaves should be processed and boiled before eating because they are unpleasantly bitter, but more importantly, they are harmful to your health when eaten raw. Taro roots can be used in a variety of dishes like curries or mashed potatoes. You can replace taro root in just about any recipe that uses potatoes. It can also be roasted, steamed, or sliced and fried like chips.
When buying taro root, look for corms that are fresh and firm. Also, pick one up and make sure that they feel hairy and heavy. Avoid roots with any soft spots, cracks, or featuring sprouts. Store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place like you would a potato.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
All three species are part of the same family: Araceae. They're more alike than they are different and they're interchangeable in recipes because they're related. The species are prepared in a variety of ways, such as baked, boiled, grilled, and fried. The young tender leaves of the plants are used to make callaloo.
The corms and leaves of all three species must be cooked. They can't be eaten raw because they contain calcium oxalate, the same chemical compound that makes rhubarb leaves inedible, but cooking and steeping them in water eliminates the chemical. Rich in Vitamins A and C, the starch processed from the corms is easily digested and is often used in baby food.
All three species have spread and naturalized throughout the world, so you can find them just about anywhere. The plants that grow from these corms are known as elephant ears in the U.S. and are mostly grown as ornamental plants.
Of all the vegetables, malanga (yautía) causes the most confusion. It looks so much like the related taro and eddo corms that a number of common names are applied to this group and they're often used interchangeably.
Boba pearls should be prepared ahead of time before you start your taro milk tea recipe
Before you can make your taro milk tea recipe, you have to have some boba pearls prepared ahead of time. To prepare the boba pearls, fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Pour 2 cups of boba pearls into the boiling water, allowing them to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring them occasionally.
Take the pot off of the stove, put the lid on it, and let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes before using a colander to strain the pearls from the water. The total cook time for this step is less than 15 minutes!
Put the pearls in a bowl, just covering them with cold water. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, stirring this mixture gently to dissolve the sugar. You should use the boba pearls within 12 hours.
Crispy Taro Fritters (Vegan + GF)
These Crispy Taro Fritters are the perfect crowd-pleasing side dish! And what's more, they're healthy yet satisfying, and super easy to make!
Taro is a root vegetable often used in Asian cuisine. When cooked, it has a soft, starchy texture similar to potato but is a little more slippery - so kind of like a cross between okra and potato.
In Japan, it's known as satoimo, which is a variety of taro known as eddo, and it used to be a staple food before being replaced by rice. It's often used in Japanese cuisine, usualy simmered in dashi (fish stock) and soy sauce.
Here's a picture I happened to take in Japan when I saw someone had put them out in the sun to dry. They don't look particularly pretty, but they're really delicious and also super healthy!
These Crispy Taro Fritters are actually inspired by the dish I like to get at Chinese restaurants: soft taro coated with crispy breadcrumbs before being deep-fried.
My healthified version here is pan-fried rather than deep-fried, and uses cornflour instead of breadcrumbs, which keeps them much lighter.
Although I don't personally have a problem with gluten, subbing regular breadcrumbs for cornflour keeps them gluten-free, and as a bonus it also makes them extra crispy!
This version here is also much easier as you don't have to heat up huge vats of oil for deep frying, and there's no need to coat them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs - just a quick dip in some cornflour will do. The lack of egg also means they're vegan-friendly!
I absolutely LOVE the contrast of the meltingly soft, perfectly tender taro inside and the crispy, golden brown outside.
These are delicious on their own but taste even better dipped in a mixture of soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
They make a great side for dishes like:
You can buy taro in Asian supermarkets, or in the 'exotic vegetable' section of some local supermarkets.
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Other names for taro are dasheen, eddo, Kalo, coco, malanga is a root vegetable grown in Jamaica, the rest of the Caribbean, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Growing up in Jamaica, we always have a taro or dasheen bush growing in our yard, my mom harvest the bush, and dug the dasheen tubers or corms, she would boil them with other side dishes like Jamaican dumplings, yellow yam, cassava, She also added it to soups, like Vegan Pumpkin Soup.
So recently, I bought dasheen at my local Caribbean supermarket, I decided to prepare dasheen different from the traditional Jamaican methods. Mashed dasheen or mashed taro is a simple yet flavorful recipe that the entire family will enjoy. It makes the perfect vegan and gluten-free side dish. Mashed Taro is traditionally enjoyed in Hawaii and the Fuji Islands.
Seriously Asian: Taro Root
Much of the world's population eats taro in one way or another, so there's nothing inherently Asian about this week's ingredient. But here in the U.S., more likely than not, we find taro in an Asian preparation because we don't always have wide access to African cookery or those of the Oceanic and South American cultures that also use the root.
There are many varieties of taro, the root of a perennial plant with large, elephantine leaves. Some are small, round, and hairy, like rodents, others are larger and elongated, like daikon. Inside, the flesh ranges pure white to ivory with streaks of pale purple.
You may be thinking that with the abundance of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash available during the fall and winter, you're already happy with your repertoire of starches. Why add taro to that list, given that its furry brown surface is actually an irritant to our skin? And its raw flesh is mildly toxic? What's more, like okra, taro flesh is slimy when boiled. Admittedly, taro is not the friendliest of edible roots, but it's well worth the effort.
The texture of taro is unlike any other root vegetable or squash. Steamed or simmered, taro is soft and almost custard-like, yet still firm and dry at the same time. Its complex flavor makes potatoes, in comparison, not as interesting to eat. Though taro is often said to have no distinctive flavor, the larger varieties possess a slightly fishy, meaty taste that's unique in the root family. Smaller varieties of taro, though not as memorable in flavor, have a pleasant sweetness. Whatever the variety, the root has a soft and flaky texture like that of a roasted Japanese or Korean sweet potato, only with slightly less moisture.
As a guideline, treat taro as you would a potato or sweet potato: simmered, stewed, fried, or mashed. To side-step the irritants in its skin, wear gloves or use a towel when cutting away the outer layer. To get around the sliminess, parboil cubes of taro first, then rinse before adding them to your recipe.
If you frequent Cantonese restaurants, taro shows up in various preparations: mashed and deep-fried as dumpling-like balls, steamed and pressed into savory pan-fried cakes, and steamed in whole cubes with meat and fish. A common steamed dish combines taro with succulent bits of pork rib, marinated in a funky-tasting blend of fermented black beans, spicy jalapeno peppers, and a bit of soy sauce or fish sauce. The combination of taro and pork is one of my favorites at dim sum, so much so that I find myself wishing for more bits of taro in the bowl.
The recipe couldn't be easier to prepare in advance. Cubes of pork rib marinate overnight with mashed black beans and salt. The next day, combine the parboiled pieces of taro with the marinated ribs and steam over high heat for forty minutes. Towards the end of cooking, drizzle on soy sauce or fish sauce to your liking and garnish liberally with sliced jalapeno.
While the idea of steamed meat doesn't whet my appetite, these bits of pork—succulent yet still bouncy due to the gentle heat—are something special. Best of all, the cubes of taro absorb the residual fat from the pork ribs, bringing out the meaty taste of the root even more.
8 ways to eat taro
Taro is basically inedible when raw—it can reportedly cause irritation and itchiness. Yikes! However, when properly cooked, it can be eaten in a number of ways, and it's actually very versatile. In addition to being eaten in all the ways that a potato might be, taro's mild and slightly sweet flavor allows it to seamlessly transform into a variety of dishes, as you'll learn here on different ways to cook taro. If you're wondering how to cook taro (also known as taro root), it's actually quite simple—you just boil it until tender.
- Use instant pot pressure cooker to cook boba pearl
- Add more ice and less milk if you want like slushy
- If you want more drinks, double the recipe.
Is taro actually purple?
Taro is a root plant and actually not very purple. Often, you see taro drink or dessert in purple because of food coloring.
Is it boba safe to eat?
Yes, it is because boba pearls are made from tapioca starch, water and sugar.
What does taro bubble tea taste like?
It's very hard to describe taro taste, it's like between the taste of potato and sweet potato. However, taro boba drink is some sort of creamy vanilla, taro boba powder has a nice fragrance.
1.Put one cup of ice into the blender.
2. Then, pour one cup of milk into the blender.
3. After that, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of taro boba powder into the blender.
4. Cover the lid and blend until it smoothes.
5. Next, put 2 tablespoons of cooked boba pearls into a jar and pour the mixture drink in the jar. (See detail on how to cook boba pearls )
Enjoy this simple and tasty taro milk boba tea recipe! Also, check out these strawberry banana smoothie, sweet mung bean soup and red bean mochi recipes.
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3. Lotus Root
Alternate Names: Ngau, bhe, renkon
Characteristics: The lotus root looks like a chain of giant pods connected to one another. Crunchy, with a tinge of sweetness, the vegetable can be prepared in a variety of ways—fried, sautéed, steamed, boiled—without losing its firmness, making it an ideal snappy texture for dishes such as salads. Although used throughout Asia, the lotus root is closely associated with Chinese cuisine. It is also prized for its unique interior pattern of holes, which add a decorative aspect to a dish.