Posted by: Jonjon | December 29, 2008

Taro Taro Taro!

Taro Chips – If Crunchy = 8.5/10

Makes about 6 dozen
• 1 12-ounce taro root 340g
• 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
• Coarse salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (176 C) . Peel taro root and thinly slice into 1/16-inch-thick slices using a mandoline. Lightly brush two 12-by-17-inch baking sheets with olive oil and spread chips evenly onto each. Brush tops of chips with olive oil and bake until crisp, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer chips to a paper towel to cool and sprinkle with salt.
Feeling experimental, I decided to soak thinly sliced taros in different mixtures. One was in olive oil. One was in Dill with olive oil. The last one was in Chervil with olive oil

Problems encountered
Yeah, I couldn’t cut the taro slices evenly, so when the thinner ones was getting burnt in the oven I had to end the process. As a result, some ended up crunchy and some ended up quite soft and not very nice to eat.

Homemade taros are WAY less oily than the taro chips you buy in supermarket. But unfortunately, it will take a great deal of time to cut the taros into evenly sliced pieces so they are of the same crunchiness.

I actually used two different types of taros. There is the usual big type, with like taro freckles on it. And there was the one that was small, that looks quite pasty in appearance. The smaller ones seemed to taste more pasty and floury. The bigger ones are the nicest, because you can actually taste more of the taro flavor than the pasty texture.

Taro chips must be baked until crunchiness to actually taste very fragrant and nice. The less crispy ones just taste bland with not much taste.

Yeah, Taros that have been soaked in oil with herbs actually get infused with the flavor of the herbs when baked. However, I couldn’t find a perfect combination from the herbs that I’ve used, maybe salt or garlic salt added after the taros is best.

Taro Coconut Cak 9/10

2 cups. hot peeled and cooked mashed taro 2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 tsp. each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
1 cup freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter a shallow 8 inch. cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the hot taro with the melted butter, mashing again as you work in the butter. Add the coconut, sugar and beaten eggs, and mix in well. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, milk and vanilla, and beat all together by hand or with an electric beater for 1 minute. Pour into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (or until firm). Remove from oven and cool completely. Sprinkle top with sifted icing sugar if desired. (Flame Tree Cookbook by Sue Carruthers)

Problems Encountered
-Umm, I used parchment paper and put it into the baking cake tray. Yeah, the paper started getting burnt and started charcoaling after around 30 minutes. I have no idea why, so I had to abandon the project half-way. However, I did not give up, so I scooped the inside out (the uncharcoaled part) and put it onto a foil covered tray and letting it bake for another 30minutes. However, the top started charcoaling too. Ahh, maybe it was because I put the cake too high up onto the tray.

-I didn’t have a blender, so I used my hand to mash all the things up, which got harder and harder. Best to do it when the Taro is still a little bit warm otherwise when it cools down it hardens. It was fun to mash up all the taros with fingers and fist.

-In order to make a cake, don’t put it too high on the tray, because the crust will get burnt easily so will the paper and you will end up interrupting the baking process mid-way. Put it in the middle next time, and this will ensure that the cake doesn’t get too much heat from one direction i.e top, and has enough time to sit in the oven for the heat to cook through its body. Next time use a foil, or foil with non-stick spray. I will be researching into this into the future.

-Wow….I can’t believe how much sugar was needed to make this cake. However, it wasn’t really that much unless you eat the whole cake I guess. I was wondering if flour was necessary and seems like it wasn’t.

Well, when I took the burnt cake out of the oven, I expected the flavor to taste crap. However, the “blob” of a thing was the best taro cake that I have ever tasted.
It was very good. Actually, next time, just mash up the taros up to 70%, and leave the chunks in. It actually tastes very nice when it was chunky. I actually finished the whole blob that eventually survived, which was only ¼ of the cake that I made.

Taro FA’ALIFU TARO (TARO WITH COCONUT MILK) 7.5,1950,154182-241194,00.html

1 med. sized taro – I used ½ a size
1 c. coconut
4 c. water
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. salt
Peel taro and boil in 4 cups of water. Boil taros for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour all the water out, drain well. Mix coconut milk, onions and salt. Pour this mixture into the drained taros and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let set for a few minutes.

I actually had no idea how big a normal sized taro was. Anyways, I used half of a taro that I brought from the supermarket, and used 1 cup of coconut milk with like half an onion. I was afraid that the onion was too much, but actually, next time I will use a whole onion. It turned out actually quite nice to eat. The onion and coconut milk seemed to mix together nicely, so did the salt. However, the taros were still a bit hard. Next time I will cut the taro into small cubed pieces so it’s more mushy. I think it will taste great if the taros can be infused with the sauce.

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