Fresh bamboo shoots
Today’s blog is about a subject I know very little about. You may be thinking, and rightly so, why is she writing about something she knows nothing about?????
Well, few days ago, I was the lucky recipient of 6½ pounds of edible fresh bamboo shoots. I have eaten fresh bamboo shoots before but this is the first time I am preparing it from scratch. Having no knowledge about the preparation I went online and followed the preparation recommended by Washington State University Cooperative Extension. To visit the site, click here. I liked the taste and crunchy texture of the cooked shoots.
Wanting to learn more, I googled fresh bamboo shoots, and happened upon an NBR article stating that dried rice bran powder should be added to the cooking water. According to the article “The starchy oils in the rice bran neutralize hydrocyanic acid, the toxin found in most bamboo shoots.” To read the entire article click here. Well, I did not add dried rice bran powder to the cooking water and I ate the bamboo shoots. Oh my, am I going to get sick? How sick? The good news is I am at my computer writing this post. I did not get sick.
Now back to why I am writing about a subject I know very little about. After reading the above-mentioned 2 articles and others, I am wondering what is truly the safe and correct method of preparing fresh bamboo shoots?????? Are all bamboo shoots edible????? I am throwing these questions out into the blogging world and hoping others will weigh in and we can all learn together.
The fresh bamboo shoots I received are the skinny kind, about ¾ – 1 inch in diameter at the base. Peeling is a tedious and labour intensive process and lots of waste (while I was peeling could not help but compare it to preparing artichoke) after 2+ hours of peeling I had about 2 pounds of edible shoots.
Following are the peeling instructions I received from my friend.
Cut off about 2 inches from the tip of each shoot, above photo.
Next split the shoot down the middle starting at the cut off tip (my friend used a cleaver, I found a sturdy paring knife was easier) right photo.
If you want round shoots peel without splitting (starting at the base, it will take longer to peel).
Peel away the outer sheaths (leaves), I start at the base and work my way towards the tip.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash and drain peeled shoots. Add to pot (making sure shoots are completely submerged). Boil, uncovered, for 20 – 25 minutes.
Drain and rinse. Use in recipes calling for bamboo shoots. If not using right away, place in a container, cover with cold water and refrigerate, changing water daily, will keep for 3 – 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.
Bamboo shoot is the edible new growth of the bamboo plant (a member of the grass family).
NOTE: The preparations stated above are for the skinny bamboo shoots I was given, preparations for the larger shoots may be different.
Copyright © by Norma Chang