Do you ever come home from a trip away and find that there’s nothing to eat – nothing ready at least – and then you scramble around for whatever you can quickly throw together as an offering to the hunger gods? Today was one of those days. My fridge had one large taro in it, as well as a jar of mustard. Ever since embracing the Paleo diet, I keep a variety of root vegetables in my fridge: sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes and taro. Taro is not as enticing as sweet potato; its flavour is somewhat bland and texturally it’s certainly on the starchy side, which might explain why it was the only tuber left in my fridge.
Despite it not being the most exciting tuber, we Lebanese love taro and call it kolkas, a name related to the tuber’s Latin name, colocasia. We usually prepare taro by boiling it in water or frying it it, and then covering it with tarator, a sauce of tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Prepared that way, taro is super-delicious. Today though, I felt like chips (or fries, depending on where you live) and mustard. Taro cooks quickly. If you slice it thinly, it’s extra crunchy. If it’s thick, it has more of a comfort food chewiness. Using a mandolin is useful for achieving a consistent slice width. I personally used a knife tonight because I couldn’t be bothered washing up the mandolin.
Taro Chips with Dijon Mustard Recipe
I fry most things with coconut oil because I am a fan of saturated fats. If coconut oil is not available, I would suggest frying the taro with duck or goose fat, ghee, lard or tallow. Heat your fat of choice to 160c and add the slices in batches that suit the amount of fat you have available. Fry until the taro turns golden (approx 4 minutes). Sprinkle the chips with salt and dip them into a good quality dijon that has a bit of heat to it. This is awesome stuff – filling and delicious – so be careful as you might get addicted (not that there’s anything wrong with that). In Sydney, you can find taro at any Asian or Italian green grocer and should cost you just a bit more than your average potato. Try it and let me know how you like it!