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Tubers & Corms


Technically, tubers and corms are swollen underground plant stems, but it's easier to think of them as the "family of potato-like vegetables." They're used worldwide as a source of carbohydrates, often taking a back seat to more flavorful and colorful ingredients.




Pronunciation: TOO-ber OR TYOO-ber and KORM
ahipa - see jicama
apio -see arracacha below
arracacha = apio  Shopping hints:  These come from South America. According to the FAO, they taste like a cross between celery, cabbage, and chestnuts. Substitutes: potatoes
arrowroot = arrow root = Chinese potato (this name also is used for jicama) = goo = seegoo = arrowhead = Chinese arrowhead = tse goo = ci gu = tsu goo
 Notes:   The name arrowroot is more commonly associated with a thickener that's made from the plant. A fresh arrowroot tuber looks like a small onion, only without the layers. It should be peeled, and then it can be boiled or stir-fried.  Look for it in Chinese markets during the winter. Substitutes: water chestnuts OR jicama  


-see taro or dasheen

bitter casava -see casssava

Brazilian arrowroot -see cassava

casava -see cassava


cassava = casava = manioc = mandioca = tapioca root = yucca = yucca root = yuca root = Brazilian arrowroot   Pronunciation: kuh-SAH-vuh
Notes:   People in Hispanic countries use cassavas much like Americans use potatoes. There's both a sweet and a bitter variety of cassava. The sweet one can be eaten raw, but the bitter one requires cooking to destroy the harmful prussic acid it contains. It's often best to buy frozen cassava, since the fresh kind is hard to peel. Look for it in Hispanic markets. It doesn't store well, so use it within a day or two of purchase. Substitutes: malanga OR dasheen OR potato (not as gluey)
Chinese artichoke = crosne = Japanese artichoke = chorogi
Notes: These look a bit like caterpillars, and they taste like Jerusalem artichokes. They're popular in France but hard to find in the U.S. Your best bet would be an Asian market.    Substitutes:  Jerusalem artichoke OR salsify

Chinese potato  see arrow root or jicama.

Chinese water chestnut see water chestnut

coco see  taro or dasheen

cocoyam - see taro or dasheen

dasheen- see taro

eddo - see dasheen

elephant's ear -see malanga

girasole - see Jerusalem

goo- see arrowroot

Japanese artichoke- see crosne

Japanese potato- see dasheen


Jerusalem artichoke = sunchoke = sunroot = topinambour = girasole    Equivalents:  One cup sliced = 150 grams Notes: These look like small, knobby potatoes, but they have a crisp texture and an interesting earthy flavor. You can eat them raw, stir-fry them, or bake them like potatoes. It's best not to peel them, but you'll want to scrub off the dirt. If you slice them, dunk them immediately in acidulated water to keep them from discoloring. Substitutes: artichoke hearts (Artichoke hearts are less crunchy, but their flavor is somewhat similar flavor to Jerusalem artichokes.) OR potatoes (This is a good substitute if the recipe calls for the Jerusalem artichokes to be baked.) OR water chestnuts ( These have a similar texture to Jerusalem artichokes.) OR jicama ( This is less expensive than Jerusalem artichokes. The texture is similar, but the flavor is completely different.)

Chinese Mang Kwang ( Manioc)

Jicama = jícama = yam bean = Mexican yam bean = ahipa = saa got = Chinese Mang kwang (this name also is used for Manioc) = Mexican potato = Chinese turnip (this name also is used for lo bok) Pronunciation:  HIH-kuh-ma  Equivalents:  One jicama, cubed = 2 cups  Notes:   This tan-skinned tuber has a mild, nondescript flavor, but a nice crunchy texture. It's a good, cheap substitute for water chestnuts in stir-fries.  Since it doesn't discolor, it's also a great vegetable to serve raw on a crudité platter. Peel it before using.   Substitutes: water chestnuts (These are more expensive and sweeter than jicama. Like jicama, water chestnuts retain their crispiness when stir-fried.) OR Jerusalem artichoke ( Like jicama, these can be eaten raw and they stay crunchy even when stir-fried. They're more expensive than jicama, but they have an earthier, nuttier flavor.) OR tart apples OR turnips OR daikon radish

lilly root -see lotus

ling gaw - see lotus


malanga = tanier = tannier = tannia = yautia   Notes:   Like taro and cassava, malanga is used in tropical countries in much the same way that potatoes are used in more temperate climates.   Substitutes: dasheen OR sweet potato OR potato OR yam OR plantain   


-see cassava

Manioc -Mang Kwang - see jicama

Mexican potato -see jicama

Mexican yam bean -see jicama

old cocoyam -see dasheen







saa got
-see jicama

sato-imo - see dasheen

seegoo -see arrow root

sunchoke - see Jerusalem

sunroot - see Jerusalem

sweet casava - see cassava


sweet potatoes -see potatoes



- see malanga

tannia - see malanga

tannier- see malanga

tapioca root - see cassava


taro = taro root = dasheen = coco = cocoyam = eddo = Japanese potato = baddo = elephant's ear = old cocoyam = sato-imo   Pronunciation:  TAHR-oh Notes:  If you've sampled poi at a Hawaiian luau, then you're already familiar with taro.  Many people don't think much of poi, but taro can be served far more advantageously.  It has an interesting, nutty flavor, and it's quite good in stews or soups, or deep-fat fried or roasted.  In its raw state, it can be toxic and harsh on the skin, so wear gloves or oil your hands when handling it, and always cook it before serving it.   Substitutes:   malanga OR parsnip OR sweet potato OR yam OR new potatoes

-see Jerusalem
water chestnut = Chinese water chestnut   Notes:  Water chestnuts are delightfully sweet and crisp--if you buy them fresh.   Though canned water chestnuts are more easily available, they're not nearly as good.  Look for fresh water chestnuts in Asian markets.  You need to peel off their brown jackets and simmer them for five minutes before stir-frying.  If you must use canned water chestnuts, blanch them first in boiling water for thirty seconds.   Substitutes: jicama (less expensive, but less flavorful) OR Jerusalem artichokes OR roots (especially if you don't have access to fresh water chestnuts; canned lotus roots are more crisp and flavorful than canned water chestnuts)  

water lily root -see lotus

yam bean - see jicama

yam - see potatoes

yautia -see malanga

yuca root  Pronunciation:  YOO-kuh   see cassava


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