By Julius Vandersteen

The taro root is a tuber also called dasheen, kalo and eddo. A starchy vegetable with a hairy outer layer, raw taro root is toxic, so you must cook it before eating. Taro has a nutty flavor after you cook it, and is suitable for frying, steaming, roasting, baking and boiling. It is perhaps best known for being used to make poi, a doughy, starchy traditional Hawaiian staple dish. Taro is best eaten hot.

Eddoe a tropical root vegetable
credit: David Pimborough/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from the irritating taro root.

Step 2

Wash the taro root under running water. Peel it with a peeler, cut the taro into pieces with a knife, and then pierce them with a fork.

Step 3

Fill a pot with water.

Step 4

Put the pieces of taro in the water, turn on the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about an hour, until soft.