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Re: [Aroid-l] Colocasia gigantea

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Colocasia gigantea
  • From: brian lee <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 11:37:44 -0700 (PDT)

Dear David,

Aloha.  I live in Hawaii and eat zuiki or bac ha all
the time.  I grow it but never knew the name Colocasia
gigantea.  There is a caveat...many plants look just
like this and if you do not get the right plant,
calcium oxalate crystals will assault your mouth. 
Also to prep the petioles, one must peel off the outer
skin...which is easily done.  It is really delicious
in Vietnamese hot and sour soup.  I think it is best
blanched quickly as some clones may have more
calcium...although the Japanese like it raw with
sashimi...raw fish.



--- David Sizemore <maui4me@charter.net> wrote:

> Hello all, I've been on this list for some time but
> usually just lurk and 
> absorb the knowledge of the wise contributors.  
> I've noticed that 
> discussions about Colocasia gigantea crop up from
> time to time.  I've grown 
> it for a long time and remember being told it was
> edible by the Vietnamese 
> lady that I got it from.  I found an excerpt from a
> book that discusses it's 
> edibility that might be interesting to the more
> adventurous of you:
> -------
> "There are many kinds of taro, and one member of the
> Colocasia family, 
> Colocasia gigantea, produces no tuber, neither is
> the leaf eaten, but the 
> leaf stalks are sliced and used in Cambodian and
> Vietnamese soups, lightly 
> cooked and still crisp. Their porous structure
> enables them to hold the 
> flavoursome stock much as a sponge holds water. They
> have also been 
> discovered by adventurous chefs of other persuasions
> and are served sliced 
> in salads and other dishes where the delicate
> flavour and crisp texture find 
> favour. These petioles (leaf stalks) may even be
> eaten raw, but first make 
> sure they are the right kind - the Japanese call it
> zuiki; Cambodians and 
> Vietnamese, bac ha. Ask for an English translation
> and they will tell you 
> 'taro', but it is best to buy it from a shop and not
> to go foraging yourself 
> unless you are knowledgeable about such matters."
> OtherLanguages:
> Cambodia: bac ha (leaf petioles)
> China: woo tau, yu
> Fiji: rou rou
> Hawaii: luau
> India: arvi, patra
> Indonesia: talas
> Japan: sato-imo (yam), zuiki (leaf petioles)
> Malaysia: keladi
> Philippines: gabi
> Sri Lanka: kiri ala
> Tahiti: fafa
> Thailand: phueak
> Vietnam: khoai mon
> >From Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine
> Solomon (Australia)
> -----------
> >From personal experience, a Chinese friend of mine
> tried munching on a small 
> piece of an uncooked leaf of C. gigantea and
> immediately had a reaction from 
> the calcium oxalate crystals setting her tongue on
> fire!  I never could 
> convince here to cook the stalks only and try them
> after that little 
> incident.  One of the best things about this
> beautiful plant besides being 
> ornamental and edible is that is usually fully hardy
> here in the Tennessee 
> mountains.
> David Sizemore
> Kingsport, TN
> Zone 6b/7a 
> _______________________________________________
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