What to do with Taro (Kalo) Corm?

Ever wondered what you can make with that lovely taro you have? Did you happen to get some of Aloha Aina Poi Co. or Funing Farms kalo in your Farm-to-School CSA Box? Don’t know where to start and are looking for inspiration? Well you’ve come to the right place! 

Kauai is the most productive island in Hawaii as far as taro is concerned, and this humble, magnificent plant has food security written all over it. It’s been a traditional Hawaiian staple since ancient times and was developed by the Hawaiian farmers into more than 300 forms able to grow in the various climate and soil conditions found across the islands.  All parts of the plant are eaten. It’s a truly remarkable and abundant food source tied to Hawaiian creationism stories, whose roots and connection to our island cannot be overstated.

Dietary-wise, taro is considered a starch and is an excellent source of fiber, which accounts for many of its health benefits, such as improved heart health, blood sugar levels, body weight and gut health. The corm is used to make the Hawaiian staple, poi, but there’s so much more you can do with it! 

Use these taro recipe ideas to make kalo a staple in your home:

  • Poi. There’s something classically ‘ono about homemade poi alongside some salty pulled pork or grilled fish! But, the leftovers can be just as amazing added into a smoothie or acai bowl, drizzled on top of kalua pork nachos or tacos, or made into crunchy poi mochi balls.
  • Taro Chips. Crunchy Homemade Taro Chips are usually a hit with everyone. Mix things up by adding on all sorts of flavors and seasonings, or trying with different dips, like Hawaiian Onion Dip (for those who aren’t against the whole ”pineapple & ham” thing which isn’t very Hawaiian at all), or get fancy with Smoked Salmon with Taro Chips.
  • Kulolo. One of our favs. Try this baked Kulolo Taro Pudding or this super simple Instapot Kulolo recipe. Seem like too much work or don’t want to wait for the magic? Try this quick and easy Candied Taro to get your sweet tooth fix.
  • Kalo for Breakfast. It’s not just for lunch or dinner! DOE’s Aina Pono farm-to-school program put an awesome Poi Parfait on their menu that layers poi with yogurt, granola, and pineapple; here’s a simple Poi Parfait recipe you can use with any fruit you might have on hand. You could also try our KeepItLocal! Poi Pancakes or quick Taro Breakfast recipes.

These are just some quick ideas to get you started. The best recipes come from aunties and uncles who know the type of taro you’re working with. Ask around!

What’s your favorite taro or poi recipe?

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