Taro is a dense and starchy vegetable used often in Asian cuisine. It is particularly popular in Hawaii where it is used to make the classic dish poi. It is best baked or roasted, but can also be steamed or boiled. By itself it does not have much flavor, but it readily absorbs the flavor of sauces, such as curries. It can also be fried as chips or fries. A simple inspection of taro before cooking help to determine if it is still good to use or if it has spoiled.
Things You'll Need
Purchase your taro as close to the day you plan to cook it as possible. Taro should not be refrigerated as refrigeration makes it take longer to cook. It is best to store taro in a well-ventilated place in your kitchen such as a hanging produce basket. This minimizes the chance of mold and softening if you cannot use the taro right away.
Examine taro prior to purchase for soft spots or mold on the skin. Taro skins are often brown and sometimes hairy, so look carefully for mold as it might be hard to spot. Look for abrasions to the skin which might result in a browning of the flesh and avoid those pieces of taro.
After peeling and cutting pieces place the taro in cold water to prevent browning until you are ready to cook. Do not peel and cut taro ahead of time and store as it will eventually brown and soften.
Peel taro prior to cooking.
If the flesh of the taro is generally firm, you can cut off any small brown spots on the flesh prior to cooking.
References and ResourcesEpicurious; A Visual Guide to Asian Fruits and Vegetables; Esther Sung
Thai Food and Travel; Taro; Kasma Loha-unchit