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