Rukau – A mix of cooked taro leaves and coconut cream. PHOTO: thebeautyfoodie.com/21011318
A staple at many island tables, but it must be thoroughly cooked to eliminate the needle-like crystals of oxalate that can burn your throat.
also known as talo, dalo, dago, aba, angel, aro, taaro, ma — is an important
staple food crop for Pacific Islanders and has been for thousands of years.
taro is increasingly being replaced by processed foods in people’s diets, it is
still a prestigious root crop among Pacific Islanders and is used for many
social and cultural ceremonies and obligations.
are four taro species in the Pacific Islands. Colocasia esculenta, true taro,
is the most widespread species. Originally imported from South-east Asia, about
70 different varieties have been documented, which differ in the colour of
their corms and stalks, the stickiness of the corm and the shape of their
also grown widely in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia (China is the top exporter
corm, stalk and leaves of taro are edible and as they are rich in fibre,
vitamins (A, C, E) and minerals (calcium, iron), they can form an important
part of a healthy diet.
various parts of the taro must be thoroughly cooked to eliminate the
needle-like crystals of oxalate that can burn your throat.
(rourou in Fiji) is a dish made out of taro leaves. Traditionally, the taro
leaves and coconut cream were placed inside banana leaves and cooked in a umu
(traditional oven made from a hole in the ground and hot stones) for several
Pacific Community (SPC)
of young taro leaves (about 500 g)
of coconut cream
garlic, lemon juice, fresh red chilli
the taro leaves and remove their stalks.
the coconut cream in a pot and bring it to a boil.
the taro leaves in strips and cook them in the coconut cream for at least 30
the leaves are cooked, mash them. Add diced onion, garlic, lemon juice, grated
ginger and chilli.
for a few more minutes and then serve as a hot or cold side-dish.