2009/02/18

Braised taro with dried shrimps

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Taro (芋头 , yu tou) is commonly used in Chinese cuisine for a variety of dishes ranging from main dish to dessert. Some of my favourite taro dishes are: braised pork with taro (芋头焖猪肉), taro/ yam rice (芋头饭), steamed taro cake (芋头糕), taro puffs (芋角) , taro nest/ yam ring ("fatt put") and sweet taro puree with gingko nuts (白果芋泥). In my 1st attempt to cook with taro, I chose an idiot-proof recipe from one of my cookbooks. The combination of taro and dried shrimps make a perfect pair, resulting in a taste that is so flavourful!
If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe, this one is definitely handy. It has also boosted my confidence to try cooking another taro dish – taro/ yam rice that was featured in an earlier posting on this blog.

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Recipe adapted and modified from Malaysia Hawker Delights – Series 2 (人气主厨拿手菜简易家常- 系列2)

Ingredients:
500g taro (peeled and diced) – about 1 palm-sized taro
50g dried shrimps (washed, soaked and drained)- retained the water for soaking
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
3 shallots (chopped)
1 stalk spring onion (diced)

Seasonings (mix well):
½ tsp salt (cut down the amount if you add in water for soaking dried shrimps)
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp chicken stock granules

Methods:
1) Peel the taro and cut into cubes. Wash, rinse and pat-dry. Set aside.
2) Heat up 2 tbsp oil over low heat to sauté the dried shrimps, chopped garlics and chopped shallots till fragrant.
3) Pour in 600ml water (including water for soaking dried shrimps), add in taro and bring to a boil.
4) Stir in all the seasonings mixture, cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes.
5) Open the lid, stir constantly over low heat until the liquid is fully evaporated. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Serve hot.

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Cooking tips:
1) The recipe can serve 4-5 persons. For 1st timer, it is easier to cook this dish by using only half of the ingredients and seasonings.
2) Do not wash the taro before peeling off the skin to avoid itches on the hand. It is advisable to wear a pair of plastic gloves to peel off the skin.
3) Taro from Thailand is difficult to turn soft/ mushy as compared to taro from China. Choose the type based on your own preference.
4) I diced my taro into 1.5cm x 1.5cm cube so that it can be cooked faster.
5) It is best to serve hot. For reheating, do not steam it as it will turn the dish to be too watery. Just stir-fry under low heat. Add a few drops of water if it is too dry.

Other reading reference for taro (in Chinese): click here

19 comments:

Selba said...

A yummy food...

I believe that even only the braised taro already tasted yummy... :)

Little Inbox said...

I replace taro with pumpkin, so sweet!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks soo good! I love the combination of taro and dried shrimps...yum yum

New Kid on the Blog said...

i can't have because it makes me itchy after eating.

why ah???

Food For Tots said...

Selba: I totally agree with you. The taste of yam itself is really yummy.

Little Inbox: Tks for your suggestion. I tried that before but it is not to my hubby's liking. ;)

Pigpigscorner: Tks. Give it a try.

NKOTB: Frankly speaking, I am not so sure but based on my wild guess, u may be allergic to taro. According to Baidu, certain group of people should avoid taro. (对于有痰、敏性体质(荨麻疹、湿疹、哮喘、过敏性鼻炎)者、小儿食滞、胃纳欠佳、以及糖尿病患者应少食;同时食滞胃痛、肠胃湿热者忌食.)

Liz said...

This looks fantastic. I'm SO hungry now.

Bits of Life 'n' Taste said...

Oh ... I love Taro! especially this type of cooking method... the sauce of it can makes me eat more rice! Lovely!

Beachlover said...

I never try this dish b4...look good thot!! let me get some good taro first.it's hard to get good taro..dunno how to choose...

Yok3 HueY said...

Does it become like 'Wo tao Gao' that is watery ?

Food For Tots said...

Liz: Welcome to my kitchen! Feel free to help yourself. ;)

Bits of Life 'n' Taste: Do give it try and let me know the outcome. ;)

Beachlover: I am also not good at choosing. The shop owner always put the taros behind her. So I have to trust her in choosing a good one for me. ;)

Yok3HueY: You mean 芋头糕 right? No. It is diff. To get the texture like 芋头糕, you need to steam it for 40-45 mins. For this recipe, you only need to braise and stir-fry constantly until it is dry.
If u prefer chunky taro, u can cut your taro cube at 2x2cm instead of 1.5x1.5cm. Or else get the Thailand taro which is diff to turn mushy. Hope it helps. ;)

shavedicesundays said...

I've never had a problem with the itchiness from taro. Another recipe I'll have to try soon. Yum!

tigerfish said...

Am not a great fan of taro but I do enjoy 白果芋泥. This combi of taro and dried shrimps sounds perfect for some taro rice with some lean pork and dried mushroom.

cariso said...

Yes, I used to have this dish at home. :)

mikky said...

oh my, it's got to be so tasty... yum... :)

Food For Tots said...

Shavedicesundays: Glad you like it. Hope your kids like it too. ;)

Tigerfish: Any recommended place for 白果芋泥? My hubby's top favourite!

Cariso: My mother also cooked this dish before. ;)

Mikky: Yes, it is really a yummy dish! Give it a try!

mycookinghut said...

Taro puff...love it.
This dish you made is fantastic.... can already feel my stomach grumbling.

Food For Tots said...

My cooking hut: Oops....too late. Next time I will reserve some for you. Hehehe! ;)

Dora said...

I luv yam! And the 白果芋泥 and 芋头焖猪肉 are my favourites!

BTW, the 白果芋泥 at the Teochew City Restaurant at CentrePoint is very nice. No coconut milk is added! :) See pic here.

Food For Tots said...

Dora: Looks like we are the "taro" fans. Tks for the recommendation. The photo for 白果芋泥 looks so delicious! Will check it out later. ;)