Mince the onion and saute in frying pan with oil on low heat, stirring from time to time, until translucent and aromatic.
While the onion is cooking, peel the taro roots.
Put in microwave-safe dish and cook at 600 W for 8 minutes. They should be soft and tender when done.
Massage shio-koji into the pork and finely chop. Add to the pan with the onions to cook and season with salt and pepper.
Mash the taro root in a bowl, add the sauteed onion and pork and mix with a wooden spatula. Warm oil for deep-frying and the tempura flour paste for dredging.
Once taro root mixture has cooled, use dampened hands to form small balls, and place on a tray. Use your bare hands to form the balls to produce a smooth finish.
Dredge balls in the flour paste, coat in panko, and deep fry until golden brown.
Serve with Japanese Worcestershire-style sauce.
Story Behind this Recipe
Taro root have a long shelf life and cook quickly. As the sticky texture eliminates the need for a binder (such as a beaten egg), I make these often.
● Dampen your hands slightly before shaping the balls to give a nice, clean finish. ● Although the amount of onion and pork may seem too much, the stickiness of the taro root binds it together. ● I use a paste made from tempura flour and water for the dredging, which results in a crispy crust. Use whatever you prefer.