kruizing with kikukat

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taro Cake

I have been extremely busy with work this year.  I was bombarded at the beginning of the year by calls from irate parents, nervous teachers & administrators, and a laundry list of trainings I had to do.  On top of that, our complex area is going through an On-Site School Review (OSSR) for all schools.  This entails a team of ragamuffin DOE employees be at the school from 7:30 am til 5:00 pm daily (except for Monday, when re-con time is 7:00).  And I almost forgot to mention the "optional" evening meeting on the Wednesday of the OSSR week.  The purpose of the meeting is to allow families to ask OSSR members questions about the review process.  But all of this bitching translates to a very late week.

When I have a late week, dinners become challenging.  Thats when I rely on food from my freezer to get us through dinners.  During my OSSR week, I raided the freezer and found a slab of taro cake.  I popped the slab in the microwave, then cut it into pieces.  Pan-frying the bottom of the pieces creates a crispy crust which is great dipped in shoyu.

For you people living in Honolulu or any large city, there is a good chance you can head to your nearby dimsum place and buy a few pieces of taro cake. . . no need to buss out the steamer.  But I live in Hilo, and there is nowhere to buy taro cake.  For us, taro cake is one of those things you buy from Honolulu as moonyagi*. Actually, I think my version is better than what you'd  get, and because you're making it yourself, you can use the "healthier" lup cheong that has chicken in it.  Even better . . . you can eat the whole dang pan yourself like I end up doing.

*Moonyagi is Weezee's word for omiyage (gifts in Japanese).

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Taro Cake

Meat Filling:
     1 tbsp oil
     2 lup cheong, diced
     2 tbsp chung choi, chopped fine
     1 tbsp rice wine

Taro Filling:
     1 tbsp oil
     2 c diced taro
     1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder + enough water to 
          make 1/2 c

     1 c cake flour, sifted
     1/4 c tapioca starch
     1 tsp chicken bouillon powder + enough water to 
          make 1 1/2 c

     1/4 c chopped green onions
     1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

For meat filling, heat oil in wok and saute lup cheong until heated.  Add remaining meat filling ingredients and cook until liquid is reduced.  Set aside.  For taro filling, heat oil and stir-fry taro for 1 minute.  Add bouillon mixture and cook for 5 minutes or more until liquid is reduced.  Set aside.  Prepare a steamer.  Combine cake ingredients, whisking until smooth.  Grease a 9" round or square pan.  Scatter half of taro cubes evenly in pan.  Top with half of meat filling.  Pour all of cake mixture over.  Repeat taro and meat layers.  Steam for 30 minutes.  Remove from steamer and scatter garnishes.  Allow cake to cook before slicing.

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