Health & Nutrition Facts in Japanese Food 10: Sato Imo/Taro/里芋

As demonstrated by many food bloggers, cooking and creating great foods and drinks have become incomplete and unsatisfying when not considering the benefits or adverse effects of the same foods and drinks regardless of their taste.
I do not intend to delve into counselling or consulting, but only to offer some knowledge about the good sides of Japanese foods and drinks. I will not extoll on its possible lacks and negative aspects. After all, the Japanese are not the longest-living people in the world for no reason!
I will also offr at least one nutritious or healthy recipe at the end of each posting.

Health & Nutrition Facts in Japanese Food 10: Sato Imo/Taro/里芋

Sato Imo, or Taro, orignally come from Malaysia and its Latin name is Colocasia esculenta.
Apart of water, they mainly contain starches, making a stamina food. Onced cooked, the same starches are very easy to digest by the human body. It is also a “health food” because of its high potassium contents (to combat high blood pressure and stress in particular).
Their high contents in vegetal fibers also make it a very important vegetable.

For each 100g (edible parts) it contains:
-Energy: 58 kcal
-Water: 84.1 g
-Proteins: 1,5 g
-Carbohydrates: 13.1 g
-Ash: 1.2 g
-Potassium: 640 mg
-Phosphorous: 55 mg
-Iron: 0.5 mg
-Copper: 0.15 mg
-Manganese: 0.19 mg
-Vitamin B1: 0.07 mg
-Vitamin B2: 0.02 mg
-Vitamin C: 6 mg
-Dietary (roughage) fibre: 2.3 g


-Combined with eggs, or with chicken, or with sardine, or with bonito, increases stamina and promotes general health.

-Combined with tofu, or with milk, helps promote general health and brain activity.

-Combined with enokitake mushrooms, or with devil’s tongue tuber/konnyaku, or with burdock root/gobo, helps lower down blood cholesterol, helps prevent high blood pressure and cancer.

-Combined with konbu/seaweed, or with miso paste, or with onion, or with green chili pepper, promotes general health and blood circulation.


A simple recipe to promote health and help combat obesity:

Sato imo/taro: 10
Miso: 2 tablespoons
Mirin/Japanese sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
Sugar: 1 teaspoon
Japanese sake: 2 teaspoons

Wash the sato imo/taro well in clear cold running water. Cut off both extremities. Place in an oven dish. Cover with cellophane paper. Heat in microwave oven for 6 minutes. Check if they are cooked by stabbing them with a sharp and thin wooden stick.

In a small pan, drop miso, mirin, sugar and sake. Mix well. Heat over a small fire and stir at th same time until the sauce has become smooth.

Peel the taro while hot. Place on a dish and pour sauce on top!

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14 thoughts on “Health & Nutrition Facts in Japanese Food 10: Sato Imo/Taro/里芋”

  1. The leaves of taro are also good for you. We use all part of this plant in my country. The leaves and the stems are made into a nutritious soup which is in fact out national dish or the leaves may be wrapped around the taro root and steamed with spices and coconut milk yum


  2. Mhm, I love taro! My favourite way to eat it is in a chicken and coconut milk “stew”. It’s a Chinese dish that my mom used to make all the time in the winter – gorgeous. Ultimate comfort food. I’m sure I’ll post the recipe to it at some point! I love the stickiness of taro and your recipe sounds like it makes it even more amazing!

    Jax x


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