Peel the taro roots and soak in water for 5 minutes. If they're organic, simply scrub off the dirt and fibers and leave the skin on.
Drain excess water from the taro and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 800W for 7 minutes. Adjust the cooking time according to the size and amount of the taro and your microwave. Heat until soft enough to pierce with a skewer.
While cooking, grind the sesame until it releases oil. If using sesame paste, you can skip this step.
Mix together the ● ingredients in a pan, bring to a simmer, then add the mirin, miso, and ground sesame (or paste).
While the sauce is simmering, add the katakuriko dissolved in water, immediately remove from heat and add the microwaved taro. Once the taro root is coated in sauce, it's ready to go.
You can also drizzle the sauce over the taro rather than coating it. Top with sesame seeds or yuzu pepper to taste.
The taro roots taste nice and floury without falling apart, and are well seasoned with the sesame and miso flavors. This dish tastes just as good as a slow-cooked one, but takes none of the time.
Using frozen taro saves time on having to peel them. If using frozen taro, skip Step 1.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to make a lot of food in a short amount of time. With stewed dishes, the flavors don't really come out until long after turning off the heat, so I relied on miso, sesame, and katakuriko to bring out the flavors of the ingredients. This dish was finished in no time at all! It also tastes great using nagaimo.
Because of the reduced cooking time, I use katakuriko to bring out the flavor in the sauce. If you have the time to cook it longer, stew the sauce and the taro together; the starch in the taro will thicken the sauce. In that case, you shouldn't need any katakuriko.