Baby Taro – a Traditional Food for Moon Festival | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Baby Taro – a Traditional Food for Moon Festival

Baby Taro

I want to make some noise here for the baby taro, a food supposedly to be included for celebrating the Mid Autumn Festival aka Full Moon Festival or Lantern Festival.

Compare with other foods for the Festival like moon cakes, pears, pomelos, grapes and pomegranates, these baby taros perhaps are the least expensive, costing only six to seven dollars per 500g. But unlike their counterparts, they are almost invisible in the supermarkets here.

No doubt, I don’t grow these taros at home. These little guys are imported from the mainland and can be found in the traditional markets as the Festival is approaching and until winter.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, Full Moon Festival occurs on the 15th day of the eighth moon every year when the moon is presumably the brightest and roundest. This year, we shall soon enjoy viewing the full moon on this Wednesday, September 22, 2010. To us Chinese, the day also symbolizes family reunion, similar to thanksgiving.

Why eating baby taro?
A saying suggested that it was the first food discovered at night in the moonlight. But I have a feeling that it is somehow related to the growing habit of taros. When these babies grow, they always love to attach to the larger main tuber of the taro plant. And this seems to echo the Chinese tradition that favors extended families living under one roof. Mind you, I just make up this reasoning.

Anyway, let’s celebrate, get reunion! And happy Mid Autumn Festival every one!

I am showing here a traditional way of preparing baby taros, possibly the simplest version.

  • Ingredients
  • 8 baby taros
  • ~ 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sugar to taste



Baby Taro

Method

Rinse taros; cut off sprouts, if any. While rinsing, also brush off muds from their hairy skins. We have to be gentle here because they are still babies and their skins are too thin for heavy brushing.

Bring the water to a boil, add Chinese five spice powder, salt and taros. Cover.

Turn to low-medium heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat but don’t open lid until water cooled down. Doing such will help soften the taro without boiling for too long, and allow the seasonings to permeate the softened skin.

Peel off skin, serve with dash of sugar.

Enjoy them as snack or dessert!

Note:
The cooked taros can be prepared ahead and stored in fridge for up to a week. I like to serve them warm by reheating them in a toaster oven under lowest heat for 7 to 8 minutes.

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Comments

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  1. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    I hardly find any baby taro here, instead those giant ones are everywhere. Miss these little guys for the festival. :(

  2. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    I used to play around with baby taro for chips when I was in Indonesia. yummmm

  3. noobcook

    I didn’t know about the tradition of eating baby taro during mid autumn’s. I only know mooncakes lol. But I think I will like it more than the mooncakes. I don’t think I’ve see the baby ones here before (maybe I’m not observant), but I shall check out my supermarket to see if they import it during this period ^^

  4. tigerfish

    I am enjoying the saying or story about eating baby taro during mid-autumn :) …first time I am hearing this.

  5. penny aka jeroxie

    I didn’t know that taros are part of Mid Autumn festival!

  6. TasteHongKong

    @Pepy@Indonesia Eats,
    I also love to make chips from taros, usually from the larger ones.

  7. Little Inbox

    I spotted the baby taro in hypermarket, and was wondering how to eat them, hehe…
    Now I learned from you. :)

  8. Von

    The only food I think of when I think of Mid autumn festival are mooncakes….I love taro though- this is a perfect excuse to eat more taro =) haha…

  9. 5 Star Foodie

    These sound yummy, I like your use of 5 spice here!

  10. Mei Teng

    I love eating taro (or yam as it’s known here). A favourite dish is steamed taro sauteed with dried shrimps.

  11. Ivy @ My Simple Food

    This is so interesting. I don’t think I had this before. Happy Mid Autumn Celebrations!!

  12. Juliana

    Oh! I haven’t had these babies for SO long…I love just dipping in soy sauce…yummie!

  13. Maralyn Jones

    Quite interesting..looks nice…

  14. Shirley@kokken69

    Just came back from my mother’s place and was discussing with my sister about what we can do to deplete these taros…thanks for the suggestion. Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

  15. eula

    We just boil them and eat them sprinkled with salt. Tasty!

  16. Angie's Recipes

    My mum boils those taros with a pot of salted water….they are so floury, soft and delish!

  17. Mary Moh

    Happy Mid Autumn Festival. My parents used to plant these taros when I was young and we love it just plain boiled with a little salt added. I love harvesting them, digging into the soil to find the taro. It was real fun.

  18. Nancy aka Spicie Foodie

    I see these little guys every time I go to my produce shop, and have been curious but didn’t know what to do with them. I will be buying one next time to try your preparation. Thanks for sharing.

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