preparations of bamboo shoot

The arrival of fresh bamboo shoots each year signals the biginning of spring in Japan. With the exception of a few special varieties, fresh shoots are avairable only for very short period between March and April. They are prized for their rich aroma and crunchy texture. When you buy bamboo shoot, you choice nice fat and roly-poly one that the height is short and the base is wide. When you get nice bamboo shoots, you have to boil them first before cooking.

How to boil bamboo shoots

Yasuko-san usually boil two bamboo shoots once. Because it's efficiently to place two bamboo shoots in the pot.

  1. Peel 2 or 3 outer rind of the root part. Cut off the tip part diagonally and score the surface vertically (Take care that you don't cut the body of bamboo shoot).
  2. Put bamboo shoots by turns into pressure cooker and pour water over them till it barely covers them. Put a handful rice bran and two red pepper (if you don't get rice bran, you can substitute water in which rice has been washed). Put drop-lid on the bamboo shoots and cover with lid. Heat over high frame until weight begins spinning and boil for 10 minutes over low heat (If you don't have pressure cooker, boil for 40 or 50 minutes). Then stop to heat and leave for 15 minutes. Take off the lid and leave until it gets cold.
  3. Wash rice bran away well, peel from the cut on the surface.
Illustration: How to boil bamboo shoots

bamboo shoot dishes

Use boiled bamboo shoot in any way. The tip part of soft thin skin is good for miso soup with wakame seaweed, the body is suitable for simmered or grilled dishes and the crispy root part is good for cooked rice.

Bamboo shoots and kinome (bud of the Japanese pepper "sansho")

Kinome is necessary spice for bamboo shoots dishes. Garnish them on simmered bamboo shoots or dress with grinded them. Not only it suits taste of bamboo shoot, but also they bud or sprout up in almost same time. How miraculous the nature is!