One of my favorite ingredient in Asian cooking is Taro. Back in Malaysia I always see purple Taro but over here all I ever get is white ones with speckles and light purplish strands. In my opinion, I find the purple one has more of the Tuber vegetable in depth flavor while the white ones have a more milder taste but both equally starchy. I have cooked with Taro many times but never attempted this Asian style steamed cake till now, for the reason my family always ask for the steamed radish version. With about 1 lb of Taro left in my fridge, I cannot think of anything else but to try out this recipe.
As the water content of Taro is less than Radish, the quantity of water to be added in the cooking of this dish is basically more. As with the Radish cake version, other ingredients like shiitake mushroom, dried shrimp and Preserved Chinese sausages are added to complete this Taro version. The Taro must first be cut into small cubes, cooked & simmered in water and then mixed in with the rest of the ingredients and a combination of rice flour,Tapioca Flour and water before steaming it for a total of 45 mins to cook through. Usually, the Taro cakes you find in Malaysia are quite firm in texture and I think taste better if pan fried later and I prefer something more soft, slightly gooey and chewy.
850g Taro, cleaned and diced to cubes
250g Rice Flour
75 Tapioca Flour
Seasoning: 1 tsp Chicken Granule powder; 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp White Pepper;1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 Chinese Preserved Sausages, sliced to small round pieces
30g Dried Small shrimp
4 Large Dried Shiitake Mushroom, re-hydrated & sliced to small pieces
2 small Red Shallot, sliced
2 Pips Garlic. minced
Seasoning: 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce; 2 tsp Chinese Cooking Wine; pinch of White Pepper; 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
9x9 oiled square dish
1. Heat 1Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet pan. Put in the garlic, shallot and dried shrimp and fry for 30 seconds.
2. Add in the Chinese sausage and mushroom.Stir in the seasoning and stir fry to mix. Cook for 5 mins. Dish up and put aside.
3. Using the same skillet, add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil and tip in all the Taro. Mix in the seasoning and cover and let sit for 1 min. Add in 400ml water and bring contents to a boil and turn down the heat and cover to let contents simmer for 7 mins. Stir occasionally during this time.
4. Prepare a large steamer with hot water.
5. Mix the remaining 300ml water with the rice flour and tapioca flour. Dissolve the flour into a thick watery paste.
6. Remove the skillet from the heat. Pour in the flour and water mixture and quickly stir to mix with the taro contents. The texture will become heavy and thick.
7. Spoon this mixture into the greased square pan, spoon out and flatten with a spatula.
8. Steam on high heat for 45 mins. Check the content of the steamer water and add more if necessary.
9. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 mins before cutting and serving.
Serves: 6 person (snack size)