how to cook taro leaves....without itchy throat

Hi all, I've brought some fresh Taro leaves, do I have to do anything special to them so I dont get the itchy throat. Wanted to make the cornbeef, onionsand coconut cream stuffed ones. I tried it before and someone said to cut the stem out, some were ok but others still gave the itch. Any tips would be great, Thanks

Chef_crystalmoon, May 7, 2:09 pm

I love this dish and would really like to know how to cook it properly.

Chef_crystalmoon, May 7, 2:10 pm

Someone once told me that if you get an itchy throat the taro leaves weren't 'ripe' Not sure how true that is.

Chef_miss_vampy, May 7, 4:20 pm

thanks, not sure how to tell if there ripe. Maybe if I just cook them extra long. Will wait till sunday so may get some more advice by then. Cheers

Chef_crystalmoon, May 7, 4:23 pm

If they're the stuff we had creamed (like spinach) while I was living in Fiji as a kid you have to remove all the veins as well. Those things choked you up good!

Chef_battgirl, May 7, 4:57 pm

Yes stems and veins have more oxalate crystals than the actual leaf.

Also only use real young leaves - and make sure it is edible taro LOL :)

There are quite a few tubers that are called "taro" in english - not all of them are very edible. Most are not poisonous as such but will have high levels of oxalates - which is what makes the itchy throat.

Where did you buy yours from? I have seen some rather huge leaves at Avondale markets - which I would never buy myself.

Chef_uli, May 7, 5:56 pm

i used to make a dish where I wrapped up all ingredients in leaves and then steamed for 3 hours. So I guess the key is to cook long enough to break down the oxalic acid crystals. Also you could look on net for under Hawaiian cooking recipes. We eat a lot of the leaves but they are called "luau". I know what you mean... so yum! ! !

Chef_msfit1, May 7, 6:00 pm

Thanks everyone, I brought mine just down the roadin Mangere from old island man, they were selling outside a house, was hoping to go markets this weekend, but cant now so when I saw them outside I stopped and grabbed some. Think I will go with removing all the veins and mite try layering it in casserole and pouring the coconut cream over, then foiling. Also googled and lots of recipes but not alot about prepping. Thanks so much. Mmmm I know what I'm gonna have for Mothers Day lunch :)

Chef_crystalmoon, May 7, 6:49 pm

yay success, decided on removing the whole stem and veins from middle of leaf, so it had like a V in middle of leaf. then proceeded to place, a mixture of tinned corn beef, chopped oninon's, coconut cream and salt pepper in middle of couple leaves, a small dollop of xtra coconut cream, folded tops up and secured in tin foil. Also did a casserole dish with layers of the leaf's, then spread corn beef mix on top another layer of the leafs about 3 thick and then covered all with more coconut cream. Foiled tray and baked them all for 1 hour at 180. they came out perfect and no scratchy throat. Now need to go for 20kl walk to burn it all off lolz, such a wonderfull taste but definately for special occasions or pre marathon only.

Chef_crystalmoon, May 10, 12:03 pm

Taro or Kala as it is called here in Hawaii is best stewed for long periods of time. It is used in many dishes such as Lau Lau (steamed Kala with pork fat, fish or chicken thigh and seasonings, wrapped in ti leaves and cooked for two to three hours) or Luau style (cooked with stock until tender, coconut milk, onions, ginger, mushrooms and squid just to name a few of the ingredients in luau). It is an aquired taste, as a chef and long time Hawaii resident it is not always easy to get or the best ingredient for some of my dishes. But it is sacred to the islanders so if you are ever offered it, be respectful and dont make a fuss on the flavor or lack thereof. Just smile and say Mahalo. Chef David Paul.

Chef_guest, Dec 10, 4:26 pm

Chef David, the Hawaiian word for "taro" is "kalo" not "kala". "Kala" is a type of fish and a type of limu. You make this dish sound so unpalatable, I have to believe you've never really had good lu`au stew. When made right it's super flavorful and often the hallmark of a quality lu`au.

Chef_pineki, Apr 20, 9:58 am