Stewed Taro with Green Onions
A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 2000 Kasma Loha-unchit.
Be sure to read Kasma's Taro Article.
- 1 medium to large taro (about 1 1/2 lb.)
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3-4 Tbs. peanut oil
- 1-2 Tbs. light soy sauce, to taste
- 1-2 cups hot water
- 2-3 green onions (both white and green parts), cut into thin rounds
Peel taro with a sharp knife to remove all the muddy skin. If it is not a very fresh one or has soft spots, trim until you get to the firm, white flesh that is speckled with purplish red markings. Depending on its size, halve or quarter the taro lengthwise and slice each half or quarter crosswise about 1/4-inch thick. Set aside.
Heat a wok until its surface begins to smoke. Swirl in oil to coat wok surface and wait 15-20 seconds for the oil to heat. Add garlic, stir, and follow with the taro. Stir well to coat the pieces with oil and lightly brown for about a minute. Then, add enough hot water to almost cover the taro (about 1 1/2 cups). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 15-30 minutes (see note). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Add more water if the taro has dried but is still in firm pieces.
When the taro has softened and the pieces are beginning to break down into a grayish, gooey consistency, add the light soy sauce and green onions. Stir well. If the mixture is too thick and dry, add a bit more water. Cook 1-2 minutes longer, or until the green onions have softened and their flavor blended in with the taro.
Serves 4-6 either by itself, or with rice in a multi-course family-style meal.
Notes & Pointers:
Depending on the tuber and how it has been stored, cooking time may take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. Do not add the light soy sauce until after the taro softens, because salt in the soy sauce will prevent the starch from softening easily.
A word of caution: Never taste taro while it is still raw, as the sap in the flesh contains calcium oxalate that irritates mucous linings in the throat. This compound, fortunately, is quickly transformed by cooking. If you have very sensitive skin, wear gloves, or make sure your hands are dry when peeling and cutting taro. Afterwards, warm your hands over a burner for a minute or so, rubbing them together to remove any remnants of starch before washing.
Do you like taro? Try Kasma's recipe Taro Cubes in Coconut Milk.
You might enjoy learning how to Cook Thai food from Kasma in a Thai cooking class.