Sunday, January 15, 2012


I remembered that when i was frying this Taro Crunch, i was saying to myself that there must be a better way to hold the taro shreds together while frying them and i thought of the net ladle used for steam boat.  Yes, it is very successful and it makes pretty good balls of even sizes, light and crunchy.  Prepping for these taro balls is tedious, the taro has to be sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices, then using a potato peeler, peel taro along the edge of 1/4 inch slice to make long thin strips, do not peel along the flat 1/4 inch but peel the 2 edges, creating a slightly point in the middle, then peel the middle, thus making strips that are not too wide.  Try to peel the longest strips if possible.  The 1/4 inch thickness to the taro slices is the best for the peeling, as it is hardy enough to hold and does  bend like thinner slices would..  These long thin strips are desirable, cos then it can be curled up into a ball, enclosing the sprig of coriander inside it.  I have learned alot from this Hong Kong Video.  Unfortunately, this video is in cantonese and there are very valuable tips.  The most valuable tip is that if the shredded strips are mixed with all other ingredients, they have to be fried , otherwise they will be soggy and then the result will not be good eats.  This is definitely a buddy project in the kitchen and since that i have to fry it alone, i have broken down the recipe to this small portion which i can handle.  Please do double, triple ......... the recipe as much as you and your friends can handle, these taro balls are addictive. If making multiple recipes, mix in the rose wine and seasonings for 1 recipe at a time, this might look like too troublesome, but this is to ensure that the taro balls will be light.


Makes 15 taro balls

150 gm taro strips
1 tsp Rose wine


1 tbsp glutinous rice flour
1/2 tbsp rice flour
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/4 tsp chicken granules
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white ground pepper

Coriander leaves


How to prepare taro strips:

If using fresh taro with skin on, wash taro skin to rid of dirt.  Leave taro to dry or dry thoroughly with kitchen towel before peeling the skin(if wet, taro will be slimmy and difficult to handle).  Use rubber gloves as taro contains calcium oxalate, which is a skin irritant and cooking removes the calcium oxalate from taro roots.

Do not wash peeled taro and if you have to, dry it before slicing.

Slice a piece from the taro root thus forming a flat base.  Using a long sharp knife or chinese cleaver, cut taro into 1/4 inch slices.

Using a potato peeler, peel on the edges of the 1/4 inch thus making a sharp edge in the middle.  Peel this way - right edge twice, left edge twice, then the middle edge twice and so forth to make long strips which means that the peeling has to start from the top to the bottom of the 1/4 slice.

Loosen out the strips so that they do not stick together.

To prepare taro balls:

Add rose wine to coat the taro strips.

Mix the seasonings together, then sprinkle it all over the taro strips.  Coat the taro strips with this seasonings in light gentle mixing.

To Fry Taro Balls:

Heat enough oil for deep frying to moderately heat - 325 f.

Put in the net ladle to heat in the hot oil.

Take a bundle of taro strips, enough to fit into the net ladle,  flatten the strips out onto the palm of your hand and put a sprig of coriander leave in the middle.  Form and curl taro strips into a ball gently, do not press and put it in the net ladle. 

Lower net ladle into hot oil for frying.  As soon as the net ladle touches the hot oil, the taro ball will start to expand,  use a pair of chopstick to gently hold the ball in the net ladle and prevent the balls from floating up too much and this will take only a few seconds.  Allow the taro balls to fry till golden balls, it will dislodge from the net ladle when fried through.

Remove from oil onto a cooling rack which is lined with brown paper to catch the dripping oil.

Continue to make taro balls with the rest of the taro strips.

When the balls are cooled, enjoy or pack into an air-tight container. 

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