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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Taro Dinner Rolls

Taro Dinner Rolls 1

Taro in the dessert at my third-cousin's wedding reception at Regent West Restaurant, segues into taro dinner rolls. I know, so lame. What can I say? Trying to make my Thanksgiving posts still relevant weeks later?

Anyway, I was inspired to make this after eating the taro mochi bun at Kiki Bakery, and thinking along the lines of slightly sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls. I figured it should be simple enough to adapt a potato dinner roll recipe. Of course, I probably should have done a test run first, but where's the fun in that?

Luckily, the rolls ended up very soft, slightly sweet, but only slightly taro-y. I didn't want to add too much taro or sweet potato because I was afraid it would affect the texture of the roll. I added in about half of an Okinawan purple sweet potato for color. I boiled the purple sweet potato together with the taro before mashing.

The rolls need several hours to rise, then shaped, then another rise before baking, so make sure you don't wait until the last minute if you plan to make these.

 Taro Dinner Rolls
Adapted from Country Living's Potato Clover Dinner Rolls

For about 20 rolls, you'll need:
About 1 1/2 lbs taro root, cubed
About 1/2 lb Okinawan purple sweet potato, cubed
5 cups flour
4 tblsp or 1/2 stick butter
2 tblsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp or 1 package active dry yeast

Taro root. You'll want the large kind of taro root for this recipe. In Vietnamese, the kind of taro you want for this recipe is called khoai mon.

Taro Dinner Rolls 2

It's got slightly purple centers. Peel the outside and cut into 1-inch chunks. You'll want about 1 1/2 lbs of taro and about 1/2 lb of purple sweet potato. Boil until softened.

Taro Dinner Rolls 3

Then puree in a food processor. While the mixture is still warm, add 2 tblsp sugar and 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. The warmth of the puree and the sugar will help activate the yeast.

Taro Dinner Rolls 4

Then in a bowl, add the taro/sweet potato puree with 5 cups flour, 1 cup cold milk, 4 tblsp butter, and 2 tsp salt.

Taro Dinner Rolls 5

Mix well and form mixture into a ball. Then cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.

Taro Dinner Rolls 6

The dough should have doubled in size.

Taro Dinner Rolls 7

Wet or oil your hands and form balls. For the clover shape, roll three small balls and place them into one muffin slot.

Taro Dinner Rolls 8

Taro clover diner rolls waiting to rise.

Taro Dinner Rolls 9

Set in a warm place and let the dough rise again for another hour.

Taro Dinner Rolls 10

Then bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Taro Dinner Rolls 11

Taro Dinner Rolls 12


My "Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with an Asian Fusion Twist" recipes:
Apple Crumble Pie
Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Curry Chicken) Pot Pie 
Chai Black Tea
Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry/Plum/Hoisin Sauce
Mashed Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes
Peking Duck-Style Roast Turkey with Flour Wrappers, Scallions, Cucumbers and Cranberry/Plum/Hoisin Sauce
Pumpkin Pie with Chai Spices
Sichuan Green Beans
Taro Dinner Rolls

And the leftover turkey recipes:
Shichimenchou (Japanese Turkey Bone) Ramen
Turkey and Cranberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Turkey Vegetable Soup

1 year ago today, Kong Namul (Korean Seasoned Soy Bean Sprouts).
2 years ago today, bougainvillea, gladiolus, and Chicago Peace rose.


  1. I am making dinner rolls for the first time today - a test run for the holidays. I really like taro and have had them in a myriad of ways , my fave is taro porridge. Taro buns sounds interesting!

  2. Hummmm, whenever I see Taro, I think of poi, the dish that Hawaians love so much but to me tastes like styrofoam.... Does the bun taste anything like poi? I am thinking the potato might be the main flavour, no?

  3. Rita read my mind. I tried poi at a Hawaiian luau years ago and thought, "I'm glad I don't have to try that again."

    Were you pleased with the way these came out? Would you make them again? Did the family enjoy them?

  4. Woman, you are on a "roll" with these amazingly inventive dishes! (Bad pun intended.) Taro is such a wonderful Asian kitchen staple. I would have never thought to include them in buns, especially clover-shaped buns so adorable. Great job, again!

  5. Wow you made it from scratch! Cool.

  6. Maya,
    Taro buns are a nice change from the usual dinner rolls. I don't think I've ever had taro porridge though.

    I didn't use enough of the potato for flavor, so the taro still came through. Poi tastes a bit bland to me, but I'm used to taro in desserts and this reminded me of that.

    The taro lovers in the family really liked them. Yet, it wasn't so taro-y that the non-taro lovers could enjoy them just fine. I would make them again, but experiment with some taro paste in the center.

    Thanks! I try. :)

    My college kitchen,
    I usually post recipes from scratch. :)


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