During my last visit to Chinatown, I picked up a large taro root with the intent to make raw dehydrated taro chips. However, after a little precursory googling, I discovered that raw taro contains calcium oxalate, so I revised my original plan to include through boiling, which makes consumption of the root safe. Boiling the taro resulted in a soft and velvety texture, with a beautifully rich and creamy taste. I decided to add a little Chinese five-spice powder after mashing, which worked well with the starchiness and richness of the taro. These tasted heavenly fried and paired perfectly with a vegan barbeque sauce.
One large taro root, peeled and diced (wear gloves if you have sensitive skin)
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup panko or plain bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsps Ener-G, whisked with 5 TB water
oil for frying
Bring plenty of water to a boil in a small to medium-sized pot. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water, then add in the diced taro. Boil, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes. Drain, mash and add the five-spice powder and salt. Set aside to cool.
Set up three shallow, wide bowls. In the first bowl, add the Energ-G and water mixture. In the second bowl, add the chickpea and rice flour mixture. In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
By now, the taro should be cool enough to shape with your hands. I used a square stainless steel form for these, but you can also shape them into little patties or balls.
Bring plenty of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Test the oil’s readiness by inserting a wooden spoon into the oil. If bubbles form around the spoon immediately, you are ready to fry.
To coat the croquettes, first dip them into the Ener-G/water mixture. Then coat in the rice flour/chickpea mixture, tapping off any extra flour. Dip again into the Ener-G/water mixture, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Place it immediately into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Only fry 1-2 croquettes at a time, and place on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately.