Saturday, July 31, 2010

Taro Chips

The lovely Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've uncovered an unusual root vegetable - taro!


taro© by Haalo

Both the root (or corm as it is sometimes called) and the leaf of the Taro plant are edible. Inside the flesh is pure white with streaks of purple and the root is circled by a deep purple edge.


taro© by Haalo


Taro must be cooked before eating - when raw it contains a compound called calcium oxalate that is extremely harmful. Some of the problems range from burning sensations in the mouth and throat as well as swelling and constriction of the throat, digestive and breathing problems, liver and kidney damage, coma and death. This is the same compound found in rhubarb leaves which is the reason you should never eat rhubarb leaves.

If you're now feeling a little unsure about whether you really want to try some taro then I think this dish will quell some of those worries. Super simple to make, with a bit of a novelty factor, it's an ideal companion for those lazy afternoon cocktails with friends - taro chips!


taro chips© by Haalo



Taro Chips

Taro
neutral oil, for deep frying


Prepare the taro:

Peel the thick skin from the taro and then slice very finely using a mandoline or a knife - the thinner the slice the quicker they will cook. Depending on the size of the taro root you may find it easier to cut it in half and then slice into semi-circles.


Cook the chips:

Heat your oil to about 170°C and carefully place in the a few of the chips at a time being careful that they don't stick together. They will cook in less than a minute - you'll notice that they will quickly change from being floppy to being hard - they won't colour in the same way that potato does, so use the texture change as your indicator that they are done. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon, drain and then scatter them over paper towels to remove any excess oil. Continue frying the chips in batches until they are all done.


taro chips© by Haalo


Serve at once - sprinkled with flakes of sea salt if desired.

9 comments:

  1. if you steam it, the root will turn a wonderful purple colour. Add coconut milk and you will have a very nice yam (taro) paste!

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  2. I've made Taro paste before but never made chips - they really look quite classy don't they, great colour. Beautiful pictures BTW. :)

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  3. wow, those are some real colorful chips. Never tried them before, but sure look mouth watering.

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  4. Love your pictures!! Taro is very common in New Zealand with our large Pacific Island communities.

    Taro chips are nomlicious!!

    Thank you,
    Bridget

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  5. How amusing! Never seen / tasted Taro before I don't think... would love to try them someday!

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  6. Your chips look PERFECT. I'm so impressed Haalo. They're an unusual and educational addition to WHB. Thanks!

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  7. Lovely... we have this in my country n its called CocoYam. I am inspired to make some.

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  8. beautiful taro chips! Most often than not people over fry them and they loose their colour. They are sooo delicious too! Pity I can rarely find taro here, so I use yuca (I think in english it's cassava yam)instead! Both I prefer to potato chips, I love the flavour and crispiness (it has more bite) plus I feel they absorb much less fat. I also miss Thai purple taro ice-creams!Great little recipe!

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  9. Huan - I must try it with coconut!

    Thanks Anna!

    Thanks Priya!

    Thanks Bridget - i can understand why taro is so popular

    Hope you find some Kimberly!

    Thanks Laurie!

    You must make some 9ja!

    Thanks Collette - cassava/yuca is also hard to find here and they tend to disappear very quickly when they are available

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