Sunday, July 16, 2006
One of my favorite dish to order at any dim sum place is Taro Puffs. The skin is made from mashed taro roots, enclosing tiny bits of pork, shitake mushrooms, and other delicate flavors. When deep fried, the skin expands slightly to create a beehive like texture; a crisp exterior that gently protects the light, fluffy, almost cottony-cream texture of the mashed taros.
Now, with that said, I decided to embark on another deep fry mission to satisfy my ever so greedy taste buds. After reading the successful reviews from many of my blog pals, I decided to try for myself. Again, there are so many recipes out there; some calls for mixing mung beans with the taro, some suggests using boiling water to first cook the wheat starch before mixing in with the taro, others suggests using cornstarch and tap water. Faced with too many choices, I decided to use the one from my trusted Dim Sum book by Ellen Blonder. My only problem....uh oh, I only had a little bit of shortening left (Which I didn't realize until I was done steaming the taro). So I modified the recipe by trying to scale it down, unfortunately my results, although very tasty, was not the end product I had hoped to achieve and left much to be desired.
I won't post the recipe because I probably won't be using this one again, as I am hoping to find a different source to fulfill my taro puff ideals. However, here are the some pictures that I took for your enjoyment!
Taro puffs ready to be fried up! They look like cut little rocks!
Finished and ready to be eaten. Notice how the skin isn't as flaky and beehive-ish as those served in restaurants? Argh!
I would love to hear your suggestions on how to improve this. My gut feeling is that I need to increase the shortening. I also used those baby taro that are about 8 cm long instead of the big ones just because I couldn't find the big ones. Maybe next time I'll use the big ones and see if they work better. In the meantime, I'll finish eating these because looks aside, these are still rather delicious!