Taro paste, a creamy, purple sweet paste has gained a lot of popularity due to its rich, nutty flavor and dreaming purple color. It is being used in more versatile ways than just being a boba tea ingredient. It is suitable for filling steamed buns, mooncakes, and other desserts. Let's learn how to make Taro Paste from fresh taro roots and how to use it in your cooking.
Taro is a tropical root, usually found in African and Oceanic nations. It is believed to be one of the most ancient crops with brown outer skin and white flesh. This vegetable root also features purple specks throughout.
Taro is an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients. Additionally, Taro root is a great baby food since the starch is easily digested.
Before you jump into its consumption, remember that Taro roots can be toxic if consumed raw. Therefore, you must cook them thoroughly before consumption.
Both the leaves and root become entirely edible and safe after steaming. The cooked vegetable root comprises a sweet, nutty flavor that you can compare to yam or sweet potato.
Taro vs. Ube
While Taro and Ube might look similar at first glance owing to their identical appearance, these are totally different vegetables. Ube is typically much darker than Taro and features deep purple skin. On the other hand, Taro is brown in color with purple flecks around its diameter.
Besides looks, these two vegetable roots are also different in terms of flavor. Taro is appreciated for its nutty, sweet taste, whereas Ube has a rich vanilla flavor.
Last but not least, Taro and Ube also differ regarding usage. While Taro roots are suitable for both sweet and savory delicacies, Ube is exclusively used for desserts.
What’s the taste of taro paste?
This creamy paste feels starchy, like a sweet potato, and offers more of a nutty, earthy flavor. It’s often described as a sweeter alternative to potatoes.
Moreover, it absorbs flavors quite easily, and that’s what makes it incredibly versatile. It tastes sweet and vanilla-like in desserts while feeling starchy and nutty in soups and stir-fries. The taste of taro paste depends on the variety you are choosing.
The best thing about Taro Paste is that you can prepare it easily at home, just with a handful of ingredients. Let’s have a closer look at what we need to make nutty Taro paste.
Taro Root is the staple ingredient in making Taro Paste and cannot be replaced with anything else in the recipe. These roots are easily available from the stores. You can either purchase peeled roots or get the whole root, depending on your preferences.
Ube is used to thicken the purple color. You can use ube powder to replace fresh ube or simply skip Ube. However, taro paste without ube is quite plain in color- with a very light purple color.
The second most important ingredient required to make Taro Paste is plain granulated sugar. It makes Taro paste a little sweater and helps overcome its nutty flavor. Besides plain white sugar, you can also choose brown sugar for a more caramelized flavor.
It is added to make the mashed Taro paste silkier and creamier. You can replace the condensed milk with coconut cream as well, especially if you like a thicker texture. Remember that if you are using any other alternative to condensed milk, including coconut cream or coconut milk, increase the amount of sugar added.
Butter or oil: optional
Adding butter or coconut oil to the mixture makes the Taro Paste much smoother. Just like what we did with red bean paste and lotus root paste. It also helps keep it from clumping. However, this ingredient is totally optional and replaceable. If you are allergic to coconut oil, you can replace this element with any other odorless alternative, such as sunflower or canola oil.
How to Make Taro Paste?
The easiest way to prepare Taro Paste is by steaming it. It is a naturally gluten-free and vegan recipe and requires four simple ingredients to make a batch of paste that you can use and store long-term.
Here’s a quick rundown of stepwise instructions to make a rich, creamy Taro Paste.
Start with peeling the Taro root. This vegetable root might irritate your skin; hence, it is advised to wear gloves or coat your hands with vinegar to prevent irritation. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove all the skin. Finally, slice the root into small cubes.
Add these taro root cubes, along with some purple sweet potato pieces, to a saucepan and cover with water.
Steam them for around ten minutes or until the taro becomes tender.
Once Taro roots get boiled properly, you can add those chunks into the blender, followed by condensed milk and sugar.
Start blending the mixture until it becomes a smooth, creamy paste.
Moving ahead, add butter or oil, and Taro paste to a saucepan and stir regularly until the texture firms up. There should be no standing liquid, and the paste should be smooth and rich.
Note: If you are making large quantities, it’s advised to prepare them in batches and ensure the taro is cooked throughout.
How to make taro paste
- 4 cups taro cubes
- 1 cup ube cubes
- 3 tbsp. condensed milk
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
- Start with peeling the Taro root. This vegetable root might irritate your skin; hence, it is advised to wear gloves or coat your hands with vinegar to prevent irritation. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove all the skin. Finally, slice the root into small cubes.
- Add these taro root cubes, along with some purple sweet potato pieces, to a saucepan and cover with water. Steam them for around ten minutes or until the taro becomes tender.
- Once Taro roots get boiled properly, you can add those chunks into the blender, followed by condensed milk and sugar.
- Start blending the mixture until it becomes a smooth, creamy paste.
- Moving ahead, add butter or oil, and Taro paste to a saucepan and stir regularly until the texture firms up. There should be no standing liquid, and the paste should be smooth and rich.
Homemade taro paste can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It will firm up a bit after storing it in the fridge. If you feel it is over-dried, add some water to make it thinner.
For larger batches, place in air-tight bags and then freeze.
Usage of Taro Paste
Taro Paste is used for both sweet and savory dishes. Here are mentioned a few of them.
Taro paste bun
The Taro paste buns are irresistibly soft and creamy treats that will just melt in your mouth. You can prepare them using the Asian technique, Tangzhong. These buns are ideal for breakfast or an on-the-go snack. As the sweet dough is infused with vanilla and coconut, they are incredibly delicious and emanate an enticing fragrance that will leave a delightful experience in your mouth. Moreover, the balanced sweetness makes them suitable for various dietary preferences.
It tastes deliciously sweet with a dash of vanilla and coconut. The sweetness is not overpowering and is thus suitable for everyone. Taro Buns are fluffy, round buns with creamy Taro filling. They have a glossier appearance and are baked until golden brown.
It is a famous drink that originates in Taiwan and is typically served over ice. Taro Boba is topped with chewy tapioca pearls adding a satisfying texture to the beverage. Rich in antioxidants and other valuable compounds, it also helps regulate the sugar level and therefore a smart option for people seeking healthier alternatives over other beverages.
Taro Boba has a sweet, refreshing taste with a pinch of nuttiness. It has a thick, creamy texture.
Taro paste mooncake
Taro Mooncakes are a traditional Chinese treat that is a delightful combination of smooth Taro and coconut filling. These delectable treats hold a significant place as they are traditionally enjoyed during mid-autumn festivals which coincide with the fullest and brightest moon of the year. These mooncakes are soft, and shiny, and have a fragrant crust with a sweet filling. They are not only a culinary delight but also a cultural experience deeply rooted in Chinese traditions.
Taro Mooncakes combine sweet, salty, and savory flavors. These mooncakes feature a round shape with symbols on the crown.
Taro paste mochi
Inspired by Japanese cuisine, the taro paste mochi dessert is made completely from starch. The mochi shell offers a satisfying chewiness, whereas the filling boasts a pillowy softness and smoothness. This dessert is traditionally enjoyed during the New Year’s celebrations and the purple hue adds a visual appeal, making it a delightful treat.
Taro Mochi comprises two parts - shell and fillings. Its shell is usually elastic and chewy, while its filling is extremely soft and smooth with a hint of vanilla. It is a bite-sized dessert filled with a sweet, smooth paste.
We hope you love this taro paste, with this nutty flavor and lovely purple color.