Yam (taro) rice is an additional popular Chinese taro dish. It is similar to lotus leaf rice or steamed glutinous rice serve as dim sums in Cantonese yum cha restaurants. The main ingredients used are rice, Chinese sausages (lap cheong), dried shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimps and yam (tarp). Sometimes they also add dried oyster and dried scallops. For my gluten free recipe, I am using frozen yam (taro), dried shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimps. Plus a mix of basmati rice and glutinous rice. Creating a really aromatic and easy one pot yam (taro) rice dish cooked in rice cooker. This gluten free yam (taro) rice recipe is also dairy free, nut free and egg free.
You may also like my other gluten free rice recipes:
- Chicken and Shiitake Mushrooms Rice;
- Hainanese Chicken Rice;
- Special Fried Brown Rice (Yangchow Fried Rice);
- Seafood Fried Rice; and
- Prawns and Eggs Fried Brown Rice.
Culinary Uses of Yam (Taro)
Yam or often referred to as taro, Colocasia esculenta. They frequently consume this root vegetable in South East Asia. Likewise, they use either yam or taro interchangeably to mean the same root vegetable in both Malaysia and Singapore. Besides, you can steam, boil or stir-fry as well as to boost flavour in many Chinese dishes.
When purchasing taro (yam), look for the ones with creamy white flesh and purple dots and stripes inside the flesh. You can purchase peeled frozen taro (yam) from Asian groceries stores and they normally freeze the products fresh.
Pan-fried taro cake, fried taro puffs and fried taro dumplings with ground pork are the most common and popular dishes. They serve these taro dishes as dim sums during yum cha at Cantonese restaurants. Moreover, they also regularly stew yam or taro with chicken, pork or beef. Another popular taro dish is the seafood birds nest. Whereby they grate the taro into long shreds and interwoven together to create a birds nest filled with stir-fried seafood. These taro dishes are definitely my childhood favourites and they still are up until today.
Health Benefits and Nutritional Values of Yam (taro)
There are many nutritional benefits of consuming yam (taro). It is high in dietary fiber and is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals. Likewise, it is a rich source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin C. As well as manganese, magnesium, potassium and copper.
On the whole, health benefits of consuming yam (taro) may include:
- Healthy digestive system from the fiber content;
- Prevent cancer specifically reduce risks of lung and mouth cancer;
- Promote good blood pressure and heart health;
- Improve vision and reduce risk of macular degenerative diseases;
- Support skin health; and
- Increase cognitive functions.
Yam (Taro) Rice
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Some extra virgin olive oil for pan frying
- 800 g minced chicken or pork
- 550 g frozen yam (taro) defrosted and cut into 2 cm (0.8 inch) cubes
- 12 dried shiitake mushrooms soak in hot water for 20 mins. Stalks removed and thinly sliced
- 110 g dried shrimps
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 French onion shallots thinly sliced
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 cups glutinous rice
- 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with ¼ cup water
For the sauce:
For the Marinade:
For the garnish:
- 4 spring onions (shallots), finely sliced lengthwise
- Combine minced chicken with marinade in a large bowl and mix well. Reserve for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare and mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat up a small frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil, pan fry the dried shrimps until lightly brown and crunchy. Drain on a sieve and set aside in a small bowl.
- Heat up a large non-stick wok with 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir fry the garlic and onion shallots on low heat until lightly golden.
- Add the minced chicken or pork and stir fry for 3 minutes on medium to high heat. Then add the mushrooms, the sauce prepared, corn starch mixture and stir fry until chicken is cooked through.
- Add in the yam (taro) and dried shrimps and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Do not overcook the yam (taro) as it will continue cooking in the rice cooker. Turn off the heat.
- Wash both the basmati rice and glutinous rice and add into an electric rice cooker by adding number of cups of water specified by the electric cooker for mixed rice. Use the cook function not rapid cook function.
- Once the rice starts to boil, immediately add in all the cooked ingredients on top of the rice in the rice cooker. Cover with lid and continue cooking.
- When the cooking process is finished, keep warm for another 20 minutes or until ready to serve.
- Remove all the cooked ingredients and rice and place into a large bowl. Using a plastic rice scoop, gently mix and combine all the ingredients and rice.
- Garnish with spring onions (shallots) and serve.