Simmered Taro (Satoimo no Nimono) 里芋の煮物

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Simmered Taro (Satoimo no Nimono) is a classic home cooked recipe that compliments the main dish in a typical Japanese meal. A humble yet wonderful way to appreciate the remarkable texture and pleasant sweetness of this starchy root vegetable.

A white Japanese bowl containing Japanese-style Simmered Taro garnished with yuzu peel.

Simmered Taro, is a classic simmered dish in Japan. In Japanese we call this dish Satoimo no Nimono (里芋の煮物) or Satoimo no Nikkorogashi (里芋の煮っころがし). 

Taro

What’s Taro?

If you’re unfamiliar with taro, it is a starchy root crop that is known for its nutrition values and essential minerals. The variety of taro vary in sizes and shapes, but the ones we use for Japanese cuisine are often smaller, round, dark in color, and hairy. These unassuming root vegetables are called Satoimo (里芋) in Japanese and you can find them at Japanese or other Asian grocery stores. Simmered Taro is very simple to prepare, which is why it has been a popular home cooked dish.

How to Prepare Taro for Delicious Simmered Taro

While the recipe of simmered taro is uncomplicated, there are a few things you want to take note of when preparing taro. If consumed raw, it can cause mild irritation and itchiness and the flesh is slimy. Why then bother cooking with it? Well, aside from its many nutrition values, taro is appreciated for its unique texture and ability to soak up flavors. Give it a try and you’ll discover why it is widely enjoyed in Japanese cuisine.

I include some tips below on how to prepare taro, especially if this is your first time cooking with taro.

  1. Taro has hairy, tough and thick skin which is hard to peel with a peeler. Make sure to rinse it well under water and remove the hair as much as you can.
  2. Cut off both ends first and peel from one end to the other end. And it’s okay to peel the thick skin off.
  3. To get rid of the sliminess, use salt to rub the taro and rinse under cold water.
  4. Boil the taro to get rid of the bitterness and foam/scum. Drain the water completely and taro is ready to get seasoned!

A white Japanese bowl containing Japanese-style Simmered Taro garnished with yuzu peel.

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