Bamboo Shoots (Fresh)

Ingredient Name: Bamboo Shoots (Fresh)

Traditional Chinese Name: 竹筍 (zhú sǔn)

What is this?

  • Fresh bamboo shoots are new growth harvested from the bamboo plant when shoots are around 2 weeks old
  • They have a hard exterior and a tender, edible core that has a slightly crunchy, spongy texture and a slightly sweet taste
  • If bought fresh, they need to be carefully prepared, boiled and peeled before eating
  • Fresh bamboo shoots are very popular in Asian dishes

How do I prepare it?

  • Wash the exterior of the plant and cut off the top pointy end
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a vertical slice halfway into the plant and about 1/3 down from the top
  • Place the bamboo into a large pot and cover completely with cool water
  • Boil for 30 minutes with a handful or nuka (rice bran) and simmer another 1 hour to remove most of the bitter taste
  • Turn off the heat and leave in the hot water overnight (optional – to remove excess bitterness)
  • Once cool enough to handle, peel the tough exterior (scrape with your knife to ensure you remove all the hard pieces)
  • Cut in half, slice and enjoy!

Where can I buy this?

  • Fresh bamboo shoots are readily available in most wet markets in Asia
  • It may also be available in your local Asian supermarkets
  • If you are unable to find the fresh variety, bamboo shoots can also be purchased either pre-boiled or canned

What is the cost

  • Fresh bamboo is fairly inexpensive and it cost me about $5 CAD for 3 shoots

Any benefits?

  • Bamboo shoots are low in fat and calories and high in potassium and fiber, helping to lower cholesterol and prevent colon cancer
  • There are also a variety of amino acids and other minerals in bamboo shoots.  It is a good source of selenium.
  • Bamboo are also said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are believed to help treat infections

Any precautions?

  • Ensure your fresh bamboo shoots are well cooked.  If they are not properly cooked, they may be bitter to taste.  In addition, bamboo shoots contain some toxic properties that disappear once cooked thoroughly.

 Additional Information

  • If you are not using the cooked bamboo right away, cover with cold water and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.