Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 7 years ago
Here's one of zillions of ways to cook taro leaves:
Harvest the outer leaves; they should still be nice and green.
Taro is an extremely valuable and venerated plant in the pacific, and there's lots of rules around harvesting properly which I won't try to describe. On a practical level, it's important to tear out the central vein so the leaf can be folded up tightly.
Tear a roll of tinfoil into big squares. Each parcel is made by pushing a square of foil gently into a small bowl (breakfast, rather than mixing...)
Lay a couple of leaves in the middle of the foil square at 90 degrees to each other, so that the gaps where the veins were overlap. Does that make sense?
Put some cooked belly pork, sliced onion and salt in the middle and pour in a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream. If it's canned, give it a good shake first!
Fold the leaves over, tuck them in a bit and bundle up the foil to make a sort of foil 'purse'. Try to seal it reasonably well.
Lay them in a roasting dish as you go, then bake them all for at least an hour at about 340 f.
It's important to cook taro leaves really well to break down the oxalic acid crystals, otherwise it's a bit like having a glass pot scrubber wedged in your throat...
there was a study done about cooking the leaves with milk or coconut milk, i see you are using coconut cream, as the bases and enzymes in the milks help to break down the acid crystals. most all taro recipes call for one or the other. also slow cooking with a pressure cooker is one of the most preferred techniques.
i love growing taro and elephant ears, they are beautiful tropical plants. thanks for posting this!
Here on the island where I live the locals cook taro leaves quite differently. The leaves are finely chopped, and sautéed with onion, garlic and tomatoes until soft. It's served as a side dish with rice, a meat dish and some spicy crushed chillies.
I've also used the leaves to make a gratin - layers of sliced potatoes/breadfruit/taro root, layers of sautéed taro leaves and a bechamel sauce with breadcrumbs sprinkled on top. Delicious.
Scarlet Smith wrote:Here on the island where I live the locals cook taro leaves quite differently. The leaves are finely chopped, and sautéed with onion, garlic and tomatoes until soft. It's served as a side dish with rice, a meat dish and some spicy crushed chillies.