taro root!

My conference went well, and March disappeared without another blog post. April is also looking busy, what with a gig last weekend (maybe if you're lucky, I'll post a picture of me playing!) and approximately a MILLION pages' worth of papers due by the first week of May... But I will try to post at least twice this month. As usual (the trying, not the post count).

I mostly know taro root as one of two things: a crossword puzzle answer for "Hawaiian vegetable" or as a purply chip in a bag of terra chips. But I see them (and purple-colored taro flavored desserts) whenever I go to the Super 88 Market (Asian market), and I always think "Someday I am going to buy one." I actually bought one once and then didn't use it in time... it molded in my fridge. Ashamed at wasting a taro root, the next time I bought one, I brought it home and used it RIGHT AWAY.

I washed it, peeled it and chopped it into chunks. It has a sort of sticky, creamy starchiness to it, as you can see from the knife. And it smelled a little weirder than I thought it would.

But I pressed bravely on! I boiled the chunks for 30ish minutes until soft, drained them and mashed them with some garlic powder and olive oil. The resulting mashed taro root was DELICIOUS, gorgeous (lavender!) and surprisingly similar to my mother's garlic mashed potatoes.
I served half of it mashed, just like that (though when reheating leftovers, I ended up adding a bit of soymilk), and used the rest to make:

1 large adult taro root (about the size of a coconut), or several (6?) baby taro roots
1 clove garlic, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 tsp dried herb(s) of your choice (optional, for additional flavor, but the taro and garlic are good enough on their own)
cornmeal or flour for dredging (optional, but gives patties a crunchier outside)

Peel taro root, chop it into chunks, and boil in lightly salted water until soft (20-30 mins, depending on size of chunks). Drain, then mash with the salt, garlic powder, 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, and herbs if using. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Shape the taro root into patties. If using the cornmeal or flour, dredge each side of each patty in it before placing it into the skillet. If NOT using cornmeal or flour, make sure the oil is hot before you put the patties in the pan, or they will stick. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, adding a bit of extra oil for each batch (the patties, particularly if they have a coating, will soak up oil). A large taro root makes 8-12 patties, depending on how big you shape them.

Serve on buns or by themselves, with ketchup or chutney.


jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm always scared to try taro!! That looks rad!

VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

So glad that your conference went well!!

Never tried taro before - intriguing!!

Carrie said... Best Blogger Tips

Interesting! I've never seen a taro root before.

Ruby Red Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh goodness, you are busy!

Taro looks like lotsa fun...and super yummy! I can't get over the way it creamed all over the knife, though, hahaha.

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dreaminitvegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Those Taro Patties look great! I've never cooked with taro before but I have had taro burgers and they are great!

Liz² said... Best Blogger Tips

adventurous!! and lavender, even, that's awesome.

cd duplication said... Best Blogger Tips

Tap root are great but I've never tried to eat taro.

McKayGreenFamily said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi again! I just posted a huge Thank you comment on your How to replace potatoes entry. We made the Taro Mash tonight and you are not kidding! Yes a little strange looking/feeling to work with but nothing crazy. But my family and me(so this includes 2 children as well!), the one who has to stop eating Nightshades, LOVED it!!!

Again thank you for posting this recipe and I really hope others out there get out and try this veggie!

I am now getting good excited about all these cool, interesting new foods to try!!

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Definitely nutritious and delicious! :)

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I'd like to cook one.

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I've never tasted anything like that! I think I should try one for curiosity

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garlic mashed potatoes.

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I always think "Someday I am going to buy one.

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This TARO PATTIES looks delicious! I hope I could make one this week with this busy schedule.

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taro dishes looks good!

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Reading your post makes me want to try it my own.

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Yes, this is worth a try.