Taro puffs

Taro puffs | casaveneracion.com

If you’re as much of a dim sum lover as I am, you must have tried just about every item on the dim sum cart. And you must have tried taro puffs at least once. Me? I rarely have dim sum without taro puffs. If it’s not on the cart and has to be ordered a la carte, I order them a la carte. That’s how crazy I am am about taro puffs. It’s been a long time ambition to make them at home but I was unable to muster enough courage until today.

There. The proof of my first attempt at cooking taro puffs. Granted they’re not perfect — I should have boiled the taro for another 10 minutes before draining and mashing them — but the first hurdle has been overcome. Fear. The fear that it’s too complicated for my cooking skills. I’ve thrown that fear our of the kitchen window. Or, perhaps, flushed it down the prep sink. Next time, it’ll be even better — bolder and better. Still, the first attempt is not bad at all. In fact, the taro puffs were pretty good — so good, I wondered what the fear was all about. Want to see how I cooked the taro puffs?

Makes 10 2-1/2 inch taro puffs.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g. of taro, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsps. of shortening (lard is traditional but I used Crisco)
  • 1 tbsp. of cornstarch dispersed in 2 tbsps. of warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • pepper
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • a drizzle of sesame seed oil
  • additional cornstarch for dusting
  • about 2 c. of cooking oil for deep frying

For the filling:

  • 150 g. of ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. of cornstarch
  • 2 tbsps. of cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 tbsps. of frozen sweet peas
  • 1 finger chili, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. of sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp. of sugar

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Place the peeled taro in a pan, add enough water to cover, bring to the boil, cover and simmer until very tender. How tender? A fork or knife inserted at the thickest part of the largest piece should go through easily and without resistance.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Mash the boiled taro. Add the shortening, starch solution, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame seed oil and baking soda to mashed taro and mix well.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Transfer the taro to a flat work surface and knead until pliable, about 5 to 7 minutes.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Place the kneaded taro in a bowl, cover with a damp towel to prevent it from drying, and let rest while you make the filling.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

To the ground pork, add 1 tbsp. of cornstarch and 1 tbsp. of water. Mix well.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Heat 2 tbsps. of cooking oil in a work, add the pork and cook, stirring, until it starts to brown. Season with salt, pepper and about 1 tsp. of sugar. Add the peas and chopped chili, continue cooking for another minute, pour in the sesame seed oil then turn off the heat.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Transfer the pork and peas mixture to a shallow bowl to allow to cool a bit.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Place about 2 tbsps. of the taro mixture on the palm of your hand. Flatten and spread. Curve your hand to create a “bowl”. Spoon 1 tbsp. of the pork filling at the center of the taro mixture.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Gather the edges of the taro mixture and close to seal the pork filling.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

You now have one taro ball with pork and peas filling.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

Repeat until all the taro mixture has been used up.

Sprinkle the taro balls with cornstarch then start heating the cooking oil for deep frying.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

This is the stage where the taro balls become taro puffs. As the taro balls come in contact with the hot oil, the surface puffs as it turns crisp. Fry the taro balls over high heat until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

If you will look closely at the deep-fried taro balls, the surface of the taro balls is no longer smooth. Rather, there is a fine lace-like pattern all over. If you prefer a more pronounced lace-like pattern, make the taro mixture less stiff by adding more water and shortening.

casaveneracion.com How to make taro puffs

A well made taro puff does not get squished when pierced with a fork. It shouldn’t be soggy either.

Comments

  1. louhanna says

    What’s taro? Pwede po pakipost ng pic nito? I love your blog(s). Learned a lot by reading your blog(s). Thank you po mam.

  2. says

    We make these back home in Puerto Rico, we call them “Papa Rellena” it is basically mashed potatoes filled with beef and deep fried. They are delicious. Great pic!