Make our simple and healthy Korean Taro Soup (Toran Guk) recipe. This soup consists of making a very simple broth full of umami flavors and slices of delicious cooked taro. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make this delicious, savory, and satisfying soup.
What is taro?
Taro is a root vegetable that has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor profile. Taro is the edible corm part of the tropical plant known as Colocasia esculenta. The starch in taro is very easily digestible and is even sometimes used for baby food. Taro in Korean is called toran (토란), which literally translates to “earth egg”. Taro roots can also be used for medicinal purposes, particularly for treating insect bites.
Taro is toxic in raw form
Please make sure to cook the taro prior to peeling or eating it. In its raw form, the plant is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate, and the presence of needle-shaped raphides in the plant cells. Calcium oxalate is a crystal-like poison that can cause kidney stones and mouth irritation in the form of numbing, burning, or an itching sensation. Don’t worry though, properly cooking the taro minimizes the toxins making it safe to consume.
Boil the taro then peel
We recommend boiling the taro for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Remember, this is an important step to remove the toxins in the taro that are present in its raw form. After the taro has been boiling in water for about 10 minutes, strain the taro and soak it in cold water. This helps to stop the cooking process and makes it easier to handle to peel and slice. Once cool enough to handle, peel with a potato peeling or knife and then again rinse and strain the tarot. Finally, slice the taro into slices.
If you want to be extra cautious, then boil the taro extensively. If you choose to do this, boil the taro for up to 5 minutes, dump the water and reboil the taro in new, fresh water for another 5 or so minutes. Repeat this process several times. This will help to ensure as much of the calcium oxalate is minimized as possible.
Ingredients needed to make Korean Taro Soup (Toran Guk 토란국)
You only need 9 ingredients to make this recipe and that includes the water. This recipe is super simple but delivers on great, savory flavors.
To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 medium-sized taro (about 1 ½ cups)
- 3 1-inch pieces of Korean seaweed (Kombu)
- 3 large-sized dried anchovies
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp Dasida beef flavor soup stock powder
- 3 cups water + 4-5 cups water (for boiling)
- 1 tsp olive oil
We hope you enjoy this simple Korean Taro Soup recipe! Happy cooking and eating!
3 medium-sized taro (about 1 ½ cups)
3 1-inch pieces of Korean seaweed (Kombu)
3 large-sized dried anchovies
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Dasida beef flavor soup stock powder
3 cups water + 4-5 cups water (for boiling)
1 tsp olive oil
1 green chili pepper (optional, for garnish)
1 red chili pepper (optional, for garnish)
- First, let’s soak the seaweed. Put 3 cups of water and the seaweed in a large-sized bowl and let it soak for 1 hour.
- Next, let’s boil the taro and peel them to get rid of the toxins mentioned in our article above. Bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add the taro and cover. Let it boil for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Strain the taro and cover it with cold water. Once cool enough to handle, peel the taro with a potato peeler or knife. Rinse the peeled taro well and strain. Finally, slice the taro into slices. We sliced the taro into rounds about ¼” thick for this recipe. Set aside for later.
- Next, in a medium-sized pot, add a teaspoon of oil to the bottom of the pot on low heat. Add the dried anchovies and toast them for about a minute. Then, pour the seaweed and water that it was soaking into the pot. Turn the heat up to medium/high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling, turn the temperature down to medium heat. Remove the seaweed and anchovies from the soup.
- Next, add the sliced taro into the pot. Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 20 minutes. The taro should be soft like a boiled potato when it’s done.
- Turn the heat off, and add in the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Enjoy!
Feel free to use sliced green and red chili peppers for garnish. We also used some of the seaweed, sliced into thin strips, that was used to make the broth as a garnish as well.
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