Don't Eat Raw Taro Leaves

As you cook your favourite recipes, you may use many exciting and exotic ingredients. Some vegetables that you may cook, you may be curious about what they taste like by themselves, maybe raw. Sometimes, as you prepare your favourite recipe, you may nibble on raw vegetables. Why not? Raw veggies are a great snack.

Not so, for raw taro.

Don't eat raw taro, and especially don't let kids nibble on raw taro leaves. See WikiPedia: Taro, or "Cooking", for more information. You may, alternatively, read my real life tale in Nitecruzr's Better Health And Living: Taro - Toxic When Raw.

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Black Bean / Taro Leaf Soup

Black Bean Soup, if you make it from dried beans, takes some planning (start the night before serving). But it's worth the time it takes. Add taro leaves, for even more flavour (with more garlic and vinegar), to my normal black bean soup. Garnished with a little salsa and sour cream. Yumm Yumm.

  • 1 C dried black beans
  • water, lots of it
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t cilantro
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 2 t vinegar
  • 3 - 4 good size taro leaves (total of 3 or 4 square feet surface area of leaves) (** Observe caution with raw taro leaves)

  1. Soak beans overnight in water - start mid evening - 12 hours is good. A clear 2 Quart Pyrex utility bowl is perfect for this task - you can look thru the sides for debris. And the sides are marked for measuring.

    • Pour beans into bowl.
    • Cover with water, 1 inch over top of beans.
    • Let it sit for a couple hours.
    • Pick floating debris out of water.
    • Drain, rinse, repeat this til bedtime.

  2. Cover bowl, and put in refrigerator. I'm told undried beans sitting out overnight will ferment.
  3. Cut the stems from the taro leaves. Wash leaves well, remove all grit and insects. Soak leaves overnight if possible.
  4. The next day, drain and rinse beans one last time, cover with water, 3 inches over top of beans. Add bouillon cubes.
  5. Bring to boil, and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
      In microwave:
    • Cook on High (100%) 10 minutes.
    • Cook on Low (30%) for 90 minutes.

  6. Drain the taro leaves. Cut the main and larger side veins from the leaves, and discard. Just cook the green part of leaves. Chop leaves into 1/2" square chunks.
  7. Add other ingredients, including leaves, to beans.
  8. Add enough water to 7 cups in the bowl.
  9. Bring to boil again, and simmer 2 hours.
      In microwave:
    • Cook on High (100%) 5 minutes.
    • Cook on Low (30%) for 2 hours. Get the beans and taro leaves nice and tender.

  10. Add enough water, again, to 6 cups in the bowl.
  11. Serve hot, over rice. Or let it sit in refrigerator until cool.