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Taro stem (To-ran-dae) 토란대

Key Nutrients: 
Vitamin A, B, and C with calcium and potassium
Read full nutrition facts »

Taro is native to South India and Southeast Asia, and is a root vegetable eaten in many different cultures around the world. It's a rich history that includes Korea. The actual root of this vegetable is called Toran (taro) in Korean, meaning "the egg from land," as it is known for being full of nutrition. Taro stems are tough and spongy, ranging in color from white, yellow, lilac-purple and pink to reddish. Taro stems are a must-have ingredient for making yukgaejang, and they are often used in soup and stir-fry dishes. Taro stem is available both fresh and dried. Koreans tend to eat the dried version. Taro stems are known to be a great source of calcium and fiber, and low in calories. They contain vitamins A and B6, and minerals such as thiamin, copper, potassium, niacin, zinc, and iron. They should not be consumed raw because that is toxic. It contains raphides which are small needle-shaped crystals made of calcium carbonate or calcium oxalate. Oxalates also compromise calcium levels in the body and may lead to the formation of kidney stones. Raphides, however, can be reduced by steeping taro roots in cold water overnight.

** If you accidentally ingest raw taro stems, drink cranberry juice to counter toxins **


Sourcing & Selecting

Korean grocery markets

You can use fernbrake (gosari) instead.
How to Measure: 
1 cup of slices are about 86g
Dry stems should be kept in a cool and dry place avoiding moisture and direct sunlight. Fresh or Pre-Blanched stems should be kept frozen and only be taken out when needed for cooking.

Fresh version-

When purchasing fresh ones, dry them for a couple of days.

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Remove skin off the fiber on the surface.

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Place in water for half a day to remove bitterness, and blanch.

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  • After blanching, place in water again to remove bitterness.

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Dried and blanched version-

Soak in water for 6 hours to overnight.

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After soaking, blanch lightly before use.

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Nutrition and Health Facts: 
A major component in Toran is melatonin, which is good for insomnia, jet lag, and headaches. Toran is also a great sources of calcium, providing 40 times more than celery. They are free of gluten and also have a top quality Phyto-nutrition profile, which includes dietary fiber known for reducing risk of heart disease, helping manage weight, and improving bowel movements. Another benefit of Toran is anti-oxidants as Vitamin B6 in this vegetable helps boost the body's defenses. According to 동의보감 (Donguibogam), the Korean oriental medical book written by Jun Huh in 1610 (Chusun dynasty), "Toran has neutral (not cold, not hot) characteristics, creating a smooth flow between stomach and intestine."


All information within this website is provided for general educational and informational purposes only. This information is not intended nor in any way implied to be medical advice. You should always consult professional health care providers regarding the personal application of any opinions or recommendations related to health symptoms or medical conditions mentioned.

Recipes using Taro stem (To-ran-dae) 토란대