Odd-looking root vegetables seem to be my calling card these days… I got the idea for this post due to yet another unusual item that I see often in the produce aisle, but never knew enough about it to cross the line between “looking” and “cooking”. The mystery root is araimo (japanese taro), otherwise known as dasheen to everyone else. They looked sad sitting next to the large yams and Okinawan sweet potatoes. Poor things, no wonder I never bothered.
I would say that araimo tastes just like potatoes but in order to use them, they need to be blanched for about 10 minutes which facilitates the ease of removing the skins with a paring knife. Following this version for Dango Jiru (mochi flour dumplings with miso), I really liked the addition of kabocha pumpkin, shiitake mushrooms, gobo tempura fishcake, chinese napa cabbage, and araimo among the ingredients, and I added fresh shrimp for a little something extra. It rates as comfort food, so when the onset of a cold puts a kink in your system, surely a soup as nourishing as this ought to hit the spot.