When I was still in primary school, one of my favorite snack is talas goreng (taro fritters) sold nearby my school. The seller has a metal box attached to the back of his bicycle, and in it are the perfectly fried taro fritters. Once an order is placed, he would cut each taro fritter into smaller bite size pieces (we are all tiny back then), place the taro pieces in a super eco friendly dish made from banana leaves, pour some chili sauce on the taro fritters, and lastly stick a piece of bamboo skewer before handing the whole thing to the hungry little customers. So, so, so good.
Before we can make some taro fritters, we will need some taro root, some dried shrimps (Indonesian: ebi), and salted soy beans (Indonesian: tauco). We will also need tapioca starch, all purpose flour, rice flour, garlic, salt, and sugar. You should be able to find dried shrimps in the frozen sections alongside salted fish, salted squid, e.t.c., or you can get one from Amazon too if that’s easier. For salted soy beans, the brand that I like most that I can find in United States here is Yeo’s salted soy beans, you can use other brand too of course.
First of all, let’s make taro juliennes/sticks with either a grater or a knife, then place them in a mixing bowl and set aside. Make spice paste by grinding together soaked dried shrimps, salted soy beans, and garlic in a food processor. Combine spice paste with the taro juliennes, then add tapioca starch, all purpose flour, rice flour, sugar, salt, and water, mixing everything together into a thick batter. Finally, we can start frying the batter to make taro fritters, either with deep frying or pan frying.
Talas Goreng - Taro Fritters
- 400 gram peeled taro root (Indonesian: talas), grated or julienned
- 150 gram tapioca starch (Indonesian: tepung kanji)
- 75 gram all purpose flour (Indonesian: tepung terigu)
- 25 gram rice flour (Indonesian: tepung beras)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 200 ml water
- Spice paste (grind together the following)
- 20 gram dried shrimps (Indonesian: ebi), soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained
- 1 tablespoon salted soy beans (Indonesian: tauco)
- 2 cloves garlic
- Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl into a thick batter.
- Option 1 (deep frying): Heat enough oil in a pot for deep frying. Drop ladleful of taro batter into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Drain in a wire rack to remove excess oil.
- Option 2 (pan frying): Heat 6 tablespoon oil in a frying pan for pan frying. Drop ladleful of taro batter into the pan, cook both sides until golden brown. Drain in a wire rack to remove excess oil.
- Serve hot.