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Taro Rice

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taro is what people from this region fondly call yam. Yam is not taro and taro is not yam, actually.

Yam is from the Dioscoreaceae family and Taro is from the family Araceae.
It's just like a cat is from the felidae family and the cow is from Bovidae family. Although both cow and cat are mammals, you don't think they are the same, right?

So, how can the yam and the taro be the same? Yeah, they are edible roots, but hey, yams are creepers and taro grows firmly on land. Orang Utans and humans have 2 hands and 2 legs... but I'm no orang utan.

But do you know that okra and the beautiful national flower of Malaysia, Hibiscus is from the same family, Malvaceae???  And the rose flower is in the same family as apples?? Plant Taxonomy is a complicated thing.
Gave me headache during my 2nd year in Uni. I loved these subjects, but memorising them was a nightmare. I was literally calling out the names of trees whenever I see them, just like calling a friend by name.

"Hi there, Samanea Saman

Pterocarpus Indicus,I see you

Thunbergia laurifolia, beautiful purplish flowers"

Anyway, enuff said, let's eat some Taro Rice..

Taro Rice Recipe
Serves 3 or 4

400gm peeled taro cubes (it was 500gm before peeling)
3 shallots, finely sliced
2 Tbsp dried shrimps, soaked and drained
100gm minced meat (chicken or pork)
4 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked, diced
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce (If using those dark caramely soy sauce, please use only 1 Tbsp and use an additional Tbsp of light soy sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 cups thai fragrant rice or jasmine rice, washed and drained (1 cup is 250ml, please take note, not the one that comes with your rice cooker)
3 cups water (It seems a lot of water for this type of rice grain, but take note that taro will absorb a lot of water)
3 Tbsp cooking oil

1. Heat wok and put in oil.
2. On medium heat, sauté shallots until golden, drain and dish up.
3. On high heat, put in taro cubes and fry until surface of the taro is very slightly golden and seemed to have taken on a crust. Drain and dish up.
4. On high heat, put in soaked dried shrimp and fry until fragrant with remaining oil in wok. Put in minced meat and fry until it turned opaque. Try to break up the meat, don’t let it clump together in large clumps. Then put in the mushrooms. Cook for 10 seconds and if it is too dry, add in a few table spoons of water. Season with soy sauces, salt and sugar. Turn off the heat.
5. Return taro to wok and put in rice as well. Toss everything together a few times. And put them into your rice cooker.
6. Put in water and cook accordingly. Let rice sit in the pot for 15 minutes before fluffing the rice.

I do not own a rice cooker, and I always use the microwave to do one pot rice. So, what I did was, put the rice mixture into a microwave safe cooking vessel and pour in 3 cups of boiling water. Zap on high for 4 minutes. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Zap another 4 minutes. Let the rice sit for minimum 20 minutes before serving.

I was taught to zap the rice a few times instead of one long period of time by my kids’ nanny. This way, I only use 50% of the zapping time. Saves a lot of power.

36 lovely notes:

Little Inbox September 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

I do it in rice cooker after stir-fry all the ingredients. Found it's simple. Never know it can be made in microwave oven. :)

Jess @ Bakericious September 13, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

my grandma used to cook this dish very frequently :).

edith September 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM  

I love this but not my son. Somehow I don't know why he doesn't like yam.

Kitchen Corner September 13, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

Oh..I didn't know Taro is not Yam. I must know how to differentiate them. Cheers!

NEL, the batter baker September 13, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

Your taro rice looks absolutely delicious!
Thanks for sharing the recipe, and the difference between yam and taro. Never knew... :)

Fuat Gencal September 13, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Merhabalar, Yeturla lezzet kareleri Bugün bacaklı çorba tarifi ile bloglardan seçmelerde. (http://gencalsabahattin.blogspot.com)
Sizinde her pazartesi yayınlanmasını istediğiniz yemek tariflerinizi beklerim.


wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 13, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

Little Inbox,
Can, why not??? Almost everything can be cooked in microwave oven, but remember to stir fry everything in the wok before you put in the microwave oven.

Jess Bakericious,
Made you think of grandma??? Sweet moments during childhood :)

My brother doesn't like it too. He says his tongue gets itchy when he eats it.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 13, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

Kitchen Corner,
Unfortunately, here, all taros are labeled as yam here. Frankly, I do not know how a yam looks like, ahahah!!! But I know it's not taro. I've seen on TV, it actually looked like a longish sweet potato.

I only knew about it when I read a food magazine few years back. Lots of people do not know this.

Meldylocks and Her Three Bears September 13, 2010 at 2:20 PM  

I know there's the yam and the taro but didn't know how to differentiate them...and funny how did the local taro get identified as yam in the first place, huh?

Hi, I'm back!! Have to read so much of your earlier posts, though...hehehe...

MaryMoh September 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM  

I love this dish .... very fragrant and delicious. My parents used to grow lots of yams when we were young. We love it cooked in all ways. It's very good for health.

3 hungry tummies September 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

Can't remember the last time I had this dish...looks so hearty!

My Little Space September 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

I make no science in my cooking! Haha.... Just giving me headache. Just be myself and do what I like to do. Sometimes, life is so simple! And you will feel more happier to stay in that way. Now, all I need is a bowl of 'bak kut teh'! haha... Have a nice day.
Cheers, Kristy

busygran September 13, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

This so good that you can eat it on its own! I see more taro than rice which makes it all very nice!

ICook4Fun September 13, 2010 at 7:39 PM  

Over here sweet potatoes are call yam and our yam is taro. I got so confused by it when I first came here :) Anyway, my mom love to cook yam rice for us. Actually i am planning to cook pumpkin rice today. Sometime similar but replace the taro with yam.

Honey Bee Sweets September 13, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

OH goodie, I have been waiting for someone to post up a good Taro Rice recipe! When I crave for it, sometimes I got lazy and used those ready pack seasoning and just add in the taro cubes and meat with rice, lol! Guess I don't have to buy ready pack seasoning anymore. Thanks Wendy!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 13, 2010 at 9:05 PM  

Enjyed ur trip or not???
Take your time to read. Hehe.
I also dunno why it got mixed up, ahaha!!

Oh, you had it back home when you were younger.
Actually we don't eat this often, except in sweet soups or made into kuih.

3 Hungry tummies,
Yup, a very satisfying one dish meal.

Min September 13, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

I like Taro rice very much, but it's not easy to eat this dish outside. I miss Bukit Mertajam's Taro rice, I tried few year back and get in love with it :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 13, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

Yes, do what you like to do on your blog.

Hahaha, that pic was before the rice was cooked and expanded.

Pumpkin rice with yam???? Haha, I think you got urself confused when typing here.
Yeah, South East Asians will be so so confused over there. But then hoh, the yams there are really exactly like our sweet potatoes???

Haha, sometimes those packed seasonings are life savers in times of distress. Still need them at times, hahaha!!!

HomeKreation September 13, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

Hi Wendy. I'm backed to Miri. Seems that I missed a lot of your good cooking/baking.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 13, 2010 at 10:56 PM  

Quickly post some good stuff on ur blog again, and
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

gertrude September 14, 2010 at 12:23 AM  

Yea I made a mistake. It should be replace the taro with pumpkin :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 September 14, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

Never mind what they are called, just eat ! Till date I have never made Taro rice... Sigh! So many things to cook and so little time!

pigpigscorner September 14, 2010 at 2:28 AM  

My grandma used to cook this a lot. yummy!

grace September 14, 2010 at 6:54 AM  

Yes, lets eat some taro rice! This sounds delicious. I can't believe you posted such a yummy looking dish without any warning =)

My Little Space September 14, 2010 at 7:58 AM  

Sorry, Wendy! What do you mean by that????

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

Haha, it's ok. Sometimes we get blurrr from surfing too much. I type wrongly at times too, heheh.

True true. I also have too much things planned but too little time and capacity to eat. haha.

Brings back nice memories hoh? Taro used to ce much cheaper, but now expensive hoh.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more September 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

I think this is new to you, and it is yummy.

Nothing ah. Cos u said "Just be myself and do what I like to do", and the blog is our space to do what we like. You can make cakes, do dishes, everything that you like and share on your blog. I don't think you'd be forced to post anything if you do not want. So, do as you like. Sometimes, bloggers get request do do certain recipe.. isn't it?

Blessed Homemaker September 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

I grew up eating this, especially when it's mahjong days for my mom :p I tried cooking this once at home but DH and kids aint yam lover so no chance to cook this again. Salivating now.

purple cane November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

I have been using the microware to cook rice too. But I dont know why, there was once I used an oversized corningware to cook my rice to avoid having to clean up the spilled rice water. The rice dont turn out the usual way. Still uncook even after I cook them longer. My usual time of 15 mins for 3 cups of rice. Thanks.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more November 8, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

purple cane,
Were they uncooked or were they dried up?
Try to break up the zapping time, this way, you reduce the spilling and lesser electric used.
I use boiling water, then I zap it on high for 5, then rest 10 mins, then another 5 then rest. Sometimes it is already done (if cooking less), but itf it's too wet, I zap it for another 5.
It could be that the wall of the corningware is too high for the shallow amount of rice, maybe the waves didn't penetrate well, maybe only. Cos even when baking, we don't use a pan that is too high for a cake, makes uneven results.

purple cane November 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

The rice remain uncook. Yar, maybe too high. Thank for replying. I love all the recipes that you posted here. They are real easy to follow and simply delicious !!!

Anonymous,  February 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM  

Yummy...This goes very well with 'bak kut teh'. Do you use fresh/frozen taro? I've bought some fresh taro and wonder how long can I keep them for at room temperature? Do I need to put them in the fridge if I'm not using them for a week?

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more February 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM  

Only fresh taro is available here.
Here, it is best to chill them asap, if not, they'll start to spoil because our room temperature is 28C above. It's hot and humid, and that makes everything spoil really quickly

Jess June 30, 2016 at 8:19 PM  

hi, can I cook yam rice using pre cooked rice just like fried rice using the wok after frying all the ingredients?

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