Basic Taro, Steamed or Boiled

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

In most markets where taro is sold there are two sizes. But unless you have grown up with them, you might guess that they are different vegetables entirely (see photo). The “babies”, which cluster around a “mother” corm like nursing piglets, are about 3 ounces each, while the mothers can be as large as 3 pounds. Both can be plain-cooked the same way to become the perfect partner to juicy stews or braises, from vegetable curry to pot roast with onion gravy.

Small taro is moist, tender, smooth, and fairly even-colored, but it tends to blandness. Cooked in its skin (which slips easily from the cooked corm), it will be juicier but will look splotchy. Peeled first, then cooked, the flesh is drier, more potato-like, and has a more uniform cream color.

Large taro cooks up drier and more crumbly—almost like chestnuts, but denser. It has more character, sweetness, and nuttiness than the small, but it is sometimes fibrous. Peel before cooking.

Whichever size you cook, serve it boiling hot (it can be reheated in a steamer), or it will be waxy and clunky.