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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Recipepapa Joy in Poi

Poi is made from the corm of the Taro Plant also known as Kalo. A corm is defined as a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ used by some plants to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat. In its raw form Taro is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate although the toxin is destroyed by cooking or can be removed by soaking taro roots in cold water overnight.

In earlier days poi was a very common staple in the Hawaiian Diet. Today poi is less common and has become quite expensive due to the realtively limited supply. Often times, poi producers in Hawaii must rely on imported taro from Asia to meet the demand. Local taro farmers are finding it difficult to find help because cultivating point is not easy work. Today’s generation is less inclined to toil hours upon hours in the muddy taro patches.

Irregardless of the relative short supply and high price, poi will always have a place in Hawaii’s local diet. Besides being delicious and very easy to eat, poi is extremely nutritious and even given to babies who are allergic to dairy products.

Traditionally poi was made using stone ponders. For our purposes we will use a food processor. The result is basically the same.


Things You'll Need:
• taro (or dasheen)
• water
• Food Processors
• Kitchen Knives
• Stockpots
• Vegetable Brushes

Step 1
Buy taro from an Asian grocery - any kind will do. Sometimes taro is called dasheen.

Step 2
Scrub the taro corm with a stiff kitchen brush, under running water.

Step 3
Peel the taro and cut it into 2-by-2-inch pieces. Put it into a big pot and add water to cover.

Step 4
Bring the water to a simmer and cook until you can pierce the taro with a fork, similar to potatoes boiled for mashing.

Step 5
Drain the water and let the taro cool to room temperature.

Step 6
Put it into a food process with a little water (about a tablespoon) and process until smooth. Now you have poi, but continue on.

Step 7
Add more water for thin "three-finger poi," whatever consistency you like.

Step 8
Add just enough water to make a thick poi, the consistency of pudding. This "one-finger poi" is preferred in Hawaii.

Step 9
Put the poi in a bowl that has been rinsed with water (so the poi doesn't stick). Gently cover the top of the poi with cool water. Let it sit on the counter, covered with a clean lint-free towel, for three days. This step will make the poi a little sour - also preferred in Hawaii

If you are not interest in going through the trouble of making poi, you should probably just buy your poi from your local Asian market. If there is none in your area you should try powdered poi. Believe it or not powdered poi tastes just like regular poi.

Powdered Poi:



This is how regular poi is sold in Hawaii Supermarkets:


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