Just before the new year, I bought a small package of “satoimo” 里芋 or “taro” from our Japanese grocery store. Since we had New year’s dishes from Sushitaro which included simmered satoimo, I did not use it. My wife reminded me that it was still sitting in the refrigerator and that it might be getting moldy. I sprang into action. Instead of making it the usual Japanese way, I decided to make it in a more-or-less Chinese way primarily through altering the seasoning. This is loosely based on something I saw on line. I did not follow the recipe closely.
Ingredients (for two small servings):
- Taro root (satoimo) (six, both top and bottom cut off, peeled, halved, and soaked in water)
- Dark sesame oil (1 tsp)
- Chicken broth (about 1/2 cup, my usual Swanson no fat low sodium kind).
- (1/2 tsp)*
- (1/3 tsp)*
- Soy sauce 2 tsp, (I used light colored or “Usukuchi” 薄口醤油)
- Mirin (1 tbs)
- Sake (1 tbs)
- Black sesame seeds (for garnish, 1/2 tsp)
*I used these two Chinese/Asian seasonings since I happened to have them but you could use “” or chili bean sauce with chopped garlic.
I first put the dark sesame oil in a small sauce pan on medium flame. I added the black bean and chili garlic sauce and sautéed until fragrant for 1 minute and added the drained and pat-dried satoimo. I tossed and sauteed so that the potato surface was coated with the oil and seasoning mixture. I then added chicken broth, soy sauce, mirin and sake. When it started to boil, I turned the flame down to simmer and placed落し蓋 on top of the taro then put on the regular lid slightly askew and simmered it for 15-20 minutes or until the satoimo was cooked.
Meanwhile, I dry roasted black sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for several minutes. Using a Japanese mortar and pestle (suribachi すり鉢), I coarsely ground it.
I put the taro in a bowl, spooned in some of the remaining simmering liquid and garnished with black sesame.
I did not make this too spicy. It was nice to try something different from my usual Japanese way of cooking satoimo. Satoimo has a nice texture and the seasoning definitely worked well. This could make a nice side dish or a drinking snack. In our case, it was the latter.