Although taro is popular, it’s also poisonous if consumed raw due to the high levels of calcium oxalate, a crystal-like poison that can cause mouth irritation in the form of burning, numbing or itching and kidney stones. So, taro must be properly cooked and served hot!
The whole process should take 20 minutes. Furthermore, the reason why it should be served hot is that it becomes dense and waxy, and hard to consume. Boiled and mashed taro, on the other hand, becomes gummy. I suggest that you boil taro as you would regular potatoes.
Just cut your taro in chunks, then boil until tender. In today’s article, I will teach you how to make a light and nutritious taro root soup. Taro root has over 6 grams of fiber per cup, which makes it a great source of fiber. It also improves the digestive system and helps weight loss.
Thanks to the high levels of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E, taro root can also help people maintain a good immune system and can destroy free radicals. With that being said, let’s learn how to make taro root soup in less than 1 hour and boost your immune system.
The Ultimate Vegetarian Taro Soup Recipe
The Korean term for taro is toran, which means “earth egg”. Below, I will share a recipe for a comforting and yummy taro root soup, one of the most popular Korean meals. You can serve your taro root soup with some rice or other Korean side dishes, and enjoy!
Keep in mind that all parts of this plant can cause poisoning when consumed raw. The first time I tried to cook taro root, my hand started to itch. Therefore, it’s important to safely and properly prepare the taro before you proceed with the recipe.
Safely preparing the taro
First and foremost, remove all the piled-up dirt from your taro root. It doesn’t have to be squeaky clean, as you will clean the plant a second time. Then, add the taro roots into a pot of boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.
This won’t cook the plant completely, however, it will cook enough the outer layer to remove the toxins as well as allow you to peel the taro root. After 10 minutes, remove the plant from the boiling water and place it in a bowl of cold water.
Thanks to this short process, you will easily loosen the exterior of the taro root. Some people even wear gloves to peel the taro root. However, I find this unnecessary. Simply trust that you removed the poison and you will be fine.
Moreover, it’s much easier to peel the skin off using bare hands and small knives than wearing gloves. Once you’re done, wash your plant again to remove any dirt leftovers.
Finally, cut into bite-sized pieces. Note that these taro pieces aren’t safe to consume. However, they’re ready to be transformed into a yummy taro root soup!
- 5 cups taro root (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1-liter water plus some more for boiling and washing the taro root
- 5 small pieces of kelp (about 1-inch by 2 inches)
- 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of perilla powder
- 1 tablespoon of glutinous rice flour
- 1/2 tablespoon Yeonadu (plant-based broth seasoning) or some other super strong vegetable stock
Start your broth by boiling the kelp in 1 liter of water for about 10 minutes. And while the kelp is boiling, prepare your taro root properly! Please, follow my instructions above to prevent any allergic reaction to your hands.
Once the kelp is done, shut down the heat and remove it from the pot. Then, add the taro root, salt, garlic, and soy sauce. Bring up to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Stir regularly and add the perilla powder and glutinous rice flour while stirring.
Keep on stirring a bit roughly to crush small bits of the taro roots. This will help to thicken the soup. Add the Yeondu seasoning or super-strong vegetable stock and voila!
Your taro root soup is done! Taste and adjust perilla powder or salt to your liking. Furthermore, test the taro roots and make sure they’re cooked completely with a chopstick. If they’re done, you won’t have a hard time poking through them with the chopstick. Test your taro roots as you would test regular potatoes when boiling.
Important tip: If you’re not sure if they’re cooked completely, extend the cooking period. It’s definitely better to overcook your taro root soup than undercook it. Moreover, if you overcook it, it will be easier to digest. It will also have a better mouthfeel.
Finally, serve your taro root soup hot with some rice on the side. Or make some of the following Korean side dishes.
- Chinese cucumber salad
- Spinach Ohitashi
- Spicy Asian zucchini
- Chinese coleslaw
- Korean scallion pancakes
- Japanese potato salad
- Asian baked chicken wings
- Spicy bean sprout salad
- Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce
- Baby bok choy stir fry
- Miso-glazed roasted carrots
- Honey sriracha brussels sprouts
- Jumbo Chinese vegetable spring rolls
- Easy roasted tandoori cauliflower
- Honey miso garlic roasted potatoes
Just pick your favorite side dish, gather the ingredients and get cooking! Each one of them can be done in less than 30 minutes and help you and your loved ones make a wholesome meal. And trust me, they all taste incredible.
Final tip: Taro root soup also goes well with other tasty vegetables such as mushrooms or gosari, also known as fern brake or bracken.
Who’s Up For A Hot Bowl Of Delicious Vegetarian Taro Soup?
If you can’t eat the whole thing, you can always store your leftovers in the fridge. When reheating, add a small amount of water for better results.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this vegetarian taro root soup, that it warms you up, and that you enjoy using small taro roots.
Share your own taro root recipes, experiences, and thoughts in the comments below!