The bamboo shoot is a highly prized vegetable in Asian cuisine and ranked among the five most popular healthcare foods in the world by some sources. It is know as the King of the Forest Vegetables and has been eaten for over 2500 years.
Depending upon species and growing conditions, bamboo shoots typically emerge from early spring to the middle of the growing season. They can be abundant but need to be caught early to avoid bitterness. It is best to harvest the bamboo shoots when they are only a foot or so tall. Bamboo is easy to harvest and prepare. Also, if you are worried about bamboo spreading, learning how to eat the new shoots is a great and nutritious way to contain bamboo. These simple steps below will demonstrate the ease of harvest and preparation of bamboo shoots.
Looking for which species can be eaten? Click here to find our edible species list!
Once the bamboo shoots have been extracted and prepared, they need to be boiled. A recommended boil time of 20 minutes to 2 hours is required to soften the shoots and remove cyanogenic glycosides. A canning process can also remove the toxins. Pickled or canned bamboo is also served as a condiment. For picked bamboo, the interior most part of the shoot is utilized.
Bamboo pairs well with most any protein. Many traditional dishes incorporate it with pork, duck and shrimp. It is very similar in texture and cooking characteristics to asparagus. It can be a very interesting substitute to spice up any asparagus based dish.