Acquire a kilo or two of fresh taro root, which is more accurately called a taro “corm”. It is worth noting that similar plant corms will work too, like Eddoe. One or two kilos of taro root is usually plenty. Wash all the mud off, remove the little tendrils that come off the main bulb. Scrub off any loose skin.
Next it is nice to trim off any bad parts of the root before boiling and, of course, trim off any of the vegetable shoots left on the top of the root. Be sure to leave as much of the skin on as possible during boiling. This will help the poi have a nice purple color when finished.
After a good cleaning and trimming, simply boil the roots for about 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes. Cutting them into pieces will reduce the boiling time. Stick a fork in the corm to test if the center is soft, if it is they are done. Once cooked, remove the corms from the water and let them cool a while. Taro root is dense and holds the heat, working with freshly boiled taro can be difficult, so let it cool out of the water.
The next step is to peel the skin off and cut out any ugly parts missed in the previous trimming. Put the cooked taro into a large bowl or glass jar. Then either hand mash or blend until it is the desired consistency. Adding water will be required, add slowly to avoid making it too runny. While just using a manual hand masher or even a fork will work, using an electric immersion blender gets the nicest, creamiest results. Most any kitchen mixer will also do the job.
Now put the Poi into a jar, cover the top with a breathable cloth and the work is done. The fresh Poi is ready to eat at this point and is called Sweet Poi. However during fermentation poi will actually purify itself by reducing unhelpful bacteria. Allow the poi to ferment for two days or more (called Sour Poi) to get the best probiotic effects.
During the fermentation days the Poi will expand in volume due to air pockets forming. For this reason it needs to be stirred once per day, or it might overflow it’s container and get messy. If the surface of the Poi develops a whiteness during the fermentation, simply stir the top back in. No worries, it is good for you. Once it is to the desired level of fermentation putting the Poi into a closed jar and into the refrigerator will stop the fermenting process.
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