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Bento Recipe: Simmered taro root


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Let me get one thing out of the way. I'm not sure if taro root is the same thing as satoimo. I've heard that they're synonymous, and I've heard that they're different things, both from reliable sources. I suppose this is similar to the common yam/sweet potato confusion. (Yams are not sweet potatoes, BTW. They're completely different plants. Don't be fooled by the grocery stores' mislabeling!)

Bowl o' tatersUm. Anyway, this is simmered taro root, and if it turns out that taro = satoimo, then it's simmered satoimo as well.

What you need:

    A pound of taro roots
    1.5 cups of dashi soup stock, or water if you don't have dashi
    3 tbsp of soy sauce
    2 tbsp of sugar
    2 tbsp of mirin
    1 tsp of sake

Coconut potatoPeel the taro roots. I found this to be an annoying process due to the roots' coconut-like hairiness. If a Muppet monster were to become a potato, it would look like this. The easiest way to do it, I found, is to cut off the top and bottom and then peel from the cut edges. Once they are peeled, cut the roots into bite-sized chunks.

Mix the dashi/water, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and sake in a deep pan or small pot, then put the taro in, leveling it so all the chunks are covered. (If you can't cover them, perhaps the chunks are too large. You can cut them in half.) Cover and simmer over low to medium heat, stirring every so often to make sure everything cooks evenly. Starting after 15 minutes, test with a fork to see if the taro is tender. When the large pieces are tender, it's done - take off the heat and serve.