Tammy and I ate some taro mash as a bedding to our tenderloin that was served at the Aha ‘Aina, A Royal Celebration show. It was delicious. From that I was really curious… taro is a root and like all roots it can be boiled and flavored with just about anything. I wanted to make a mash like we ate.
But what you are really wondering is how to prep Taro. I did a little research online, and all of them say to cut the stem off, scrub the outside (if you just pulled the root out of the ground, or you bought it looking hairy) and then use a vegtable peeler. But be careful about any skin sensitivity to the slimy taro during peeling. I simply peeled it under running water, cradled in a paper towel.
Then you will want to lay the taro root sideways and make one inch slices. You come out with it looking like what is on the left. Then you will want to dice it into bite size pieces, on the right.
Make sure you don’t fill your pot too full. Just enough to cover the cut pieces. Also, you will want to adjust the temperature from high (when it first starts boiling) to about medium. Otherwise, the water and starches will cause the pot to boil over. You’ll be spending lots of time cleaning up the slimy water. I boiled it for 40 mins.
- Dice up 1 maui onion along with 4-5 garlic cloves.
- Pre-heat your pan with some sizzling agent (I chose the rendered juices from my baked chops).
Time to do the mash… First things first, I will be using some of the rendered juices from the baked chops I made to sub for the butter or oil I’d use. Also, these chops have a nice thick skin of fat on them that I chopped off and will be dicing and sauteing. I can’t let anything go to waste. So, if you make some pork chops, or have a stick of butter nearby, simply put it in a pan and turn it on medium. If you use butter, I always like to add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil with it. This will prevent the butter from browning and smoking.
While this is sizzling, filling your kitchen with some home cooking aromas, start mashing the potatoes that you will need to drain in a colander and let it cool. Take your pot and put it on low to keep it warm, then put back the taro root in the pot. Let it sit for 15-20 mins to dry out. Beware of your mashing skills. Too eager to mash and you will prevent the starches from swelling. This will cause them to get gooey vs creamy. Cool them enough and the starch will not be able to dissolve in any water, preventing the gooey.
Back to your sizzling pan, add in the onion. Let it caramelize a bit. Add the garlic, but do not brown it. Browning garlic in this case will just rid of that tang. You’ll want to just at the minced garlic and then a mins later sauteed party of goodness to the Taro root you had started mashing.
Salt and pepper to taste. You are done, stop reading this and go plate up those chops and taro mash.