Savory Roasted Taro

August 29, 2012 in Categories: by

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Do you miss roasted potatoes?  I did, until I discovered taro.  Taro is a nutrient-dense tuber native to Southeast Asia.  It is considered a “safe starch” and is recommended as a dense source of complex carbohydrates in Practical Paleo, The Perfect Health Diet, and by Chris Kresser.  Of course, many people include peeled white potatoes in their implementation of a paleo diet (the phytic acid and glycoalkaloids are concentrated near the peel), but Prof. Lorain Cordain is firmly opposed to consumption of potatoes (see The Paleo Answer for his extensive argument against them).  For the many of us who are intolerant to nightshades, taro is a delicious alternative. 

Taro is a small, roundish, dark brown and hairy tuber that is often available in grocery stores and Asian food markets.  It’s outer skin is easily peeled off after steaming.  Many traditional Asian preparations of taro are designed to heighten its inherent sliminess (perhaps why I am not a big fan of these dishes).  This preparation is designed to reduce the slime factor and the end result is a flavor and texture very similar to potato. Serves 3-6.

Ingredients:

 

1.    Place whole unpeeled taro in a steam basket or steamer.  Steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your tubers) until you can pierce them easily with a knife but before they get too soft (this of the firmness of not quite cooked potatoes). 
2.    Remove from heat and let cool until you can handle them. 
3.    Peel off the bark-like skin (it should come off fairly easily) with a paring knife.  Cut peeled taro into quarters or ½” rounds.  Meanwhile, turn on oven broiler (set to hi, and with a rack 6-8” away from the element in your oven).
4.    Melt tallow (or other cooking fat).  Pour over taro and toss with spices.  (you can do this step in a bowl or directly on a baking sheet).  Spread taro on a baking sheet.
5.    Broil taro for 10 minutes, flipping or stirring every 3-5 minutes, until browned and slightly crisp on the outside. 
6.    Enjoy!

Comments

How is it that your timing is always perfect?! I just got on the computer to find a list of safe starches because I think my carb level is too low. Oh, there’s a new post by Sarah, I’ll go see what she has to say today, then I google paleo safe starches. Now I don’t have to. You are so awesome, thank you once again!

As someone with ankylosing spondylitis, it seems to be a consenus that starches are to be avoided. So, I’m assuming that taro is a starch that I need to add to that list? Grumble. :-/

Sadly yes. Although starchy vegetables are not banned forever (you can typically add them back in much sooner than other things on the AIP–I’m writing up a post on reintroducing foods after following the AIP) and I was just listening to a Chris Kresser podcast yesterday where he said that many people with autoimmune disease are okay with some starchy vegetables. :)

I am wondering about the oxalates in taro. I was under the impression that taro needed to be boiled and the water discarded to remove the oxalates. Would steaming accomplish the same thing?.

do you have sources from that study, would be interested in that. actually if taro is not cooked through enough, your throat can become itchy. a quick rinse and gargle with salt water should help stop the itch.
Jill, it is best to remove the water after boiling. Steaming helps preserve more of the vitamins.

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