All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2011-10-09

Satoimo baby taro roots













Colocasia esculenta


Colocasia or Elephant Ear is probably better known as an ornamental plant. The starchy corms of Colocasia esculenta are eaten in many tropical regions. In Japan, it is said that satoimo has been cultivated since the 10th century BC or before. Japan is at the northern end of cultivation.

Satoimo has a sticky texture. When cooked, it mashes up easily in the mouth and the texture becomes like thick cream. When mashed -- when turned into croquets or savory pancakes, for example -- it stays together without a binding ingredient.
Satoimo secretes a slimy fluid when skinned, -- a sign of its healthy effects. The viscous fluid is from mucin, a substance that protects stomach mucus and prevents stomach inflammation and ulcers as well as infectious diseases such as colds and flu. A starch-degrading enzyme in mucin helps digestion and efficient absorption of protein. Mucin also works as a mild digestive tract conditioner.
Recipes sometimes tell you to wash off the slimy fluid after skinning during preparation, but it is better to keep it for these health benefits.

Satoimo is also known for a its high potassium content (640 mg/100 g) compared to potatoes/yams (410 mg with potato, 470 mg with satsumaimo sweet potato, 430 mg with nagaimo Chinese yam). Potassium carries away excess sodium from the body, controlling blood pressure. For this reason, satoimo is commonly mentioned as a beneficial food for those with high blood pressure.

When buying, choose round, firm and heavy ones without baby corms.

58 kcal/100 g; 84.1% water, 1.5% protein, 0.1% fat, 13.1% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash


Recipes with satoimo

Try satoimo in the following recipes

(Last updated: March 30, 2016)

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