Thursday, May 17, 2012

Roasting Baby Taro

Baby taro corms in the oven.
A Hawaiian friend claimed that baby taro roots or corms don't have much taste and are not good eating, but I had so many taro keikis (children) and not enough room to plant them.  So in the advancement of culinary experimentation, I brought them home and decided to cook them. I could boil them, which is fairly easy - boil them whole and then peel off the skin. Or I could do something more difficult - roast them and then take off the skin.

Peeled baby taro.
I ended up roasting them because I had already eaten a lot of boiled taro earlier that week.   The taro corms were only a few inches across in diameter, probably not even worth eating because of the trouble to clean them, but I had some free time.

Pile of taro skin.
I roasted them for about an hour, then scraped and peeled the skin. This turned out to be more tedious than I thought. With boiling, the taro skin pops right off, very easily. But roasting somewhat hardens the skin and for this particular unknown variety of taro, the skin had to be coaxed off bit by bit. I found it easier when the taro was warmer and then more difficult as it cooled. I probably could have reheated them but the skin was still pretty firm even when fresh out of the oven.

Then I ended up roasting them again, with garlic and olive oil. The surface became nice and crunchy, so I really enjoyed eating them even though it's not a common way of preparing taro. The texture was also very good for potato style salad. Boiling taro also can work for taro salad if you don't overboil the taro. I liked the firm texture of the roasted taro for salad.

Taro "potato" salad - it looks better than it tastes, really.


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