Today I introduce you to “Mashed Taro Cakes” which is my mother’s original recipe. She cooked it with leftover “Braised Taro” which I taught you how to make in my previous post on April 14. When I was child, I loved these “Mashed Taro Cakes” more than “Braised Taro”. These two recipes have the same taste but they have a different texture.
I used the same sauce as I did with the “Braised Taro” recipe, which tastes salty-sweet. You use the sauce to finish the cakes, but you can eat them without the sauce. In fact, you can simply use salt and pepper because the taro has already absorbed the delicious sauce. Also, I coated the mashed taro patties in corn starch so the outside of the cakes are crunchy and the inside are smooth. It is very delicious!! I am sure many kids will like this dish.
Taro is high in potassium and water. Taro also is lower in calories than other kinds of potato. When you chew taro, it can feel slightly gooey. This feeling comes from mucin, which is also in our saliva and stomach juice, and it helps the stomach function better.
Today I introduce you to Japanese traditional dish “Braised Taro”. It is a very easy, simple and delicious side dish. My mother always cooked 5 small dishes for each member of our family for every dinner. The 5 dishes idea comes from “Ichijiru-Sansai” which means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes. This dish is great as a side dish in a Japanese meal. In addition, we say “Hara-Hachibu” which means eat until you feel your 80% full, don’t eat until you are too full. This is a Japanese traditional eating rule for being healthy so my mother always prepared small dishes for each of us.
The recipe is easy. Just simmer taros in Dashi stock. I used “Kelp Dashi Stock,” but you can use any kind of stock. The dish is mainly seasoned with soy sauce and the taros become so tender that they absorb the Dashi well so it is very delicious and it is great for vegetarians if you use vegetable stock. Also, it is an oil-free dish so it is very healthy.
When I introduce you cooking Japanese dishes I always try to show you the easiest way to cook these dishes even if you have no experience with cooking Japanese food. For example, in this recipe, I simmered peeled taros in Dashi stock. But usually taro requires extra preparation time for to simmer more easily and make a great final presentation. But in this recipe there is no need to do the extra preparation because even without it this dish is very delicious and looks great. I want everybody to try to cook Japanese dishes in a lighthearted and fun manner so we do not need to make these recipes hard in order to enjoy all the taste, health benefits, and beauty of traditional Japanese dishes.
You can buy taros in many grocery stores in the US and in all Asian markets. The tip for picking a good taro is that the taro should have ball shape, and be a little bigger than a golf ball. This shape and size makes for a good and delicious taro.
Enjoy this delicious, healthy, and nutritious dish. I hope you like it.