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).
- Black-bean garlic sauce (1/2 tsp)*
- Chili garlic sauce (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 “Toban Djan” 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 my favorite silicon “otoshibuta” 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.