Braised bamboo shoots

Braised bamboo shoots

I am sure most people are familiar with bamboo shoots which is a traditional ingredient in Asian cooking. Most likely what they have eaten was canned bamboo shoots. These taste good and I keep cans of sliced, shredded and bamboo shoot tips in my pantry for stir fries and braises. But whenever fresh bamboo shoots are available, I’ll take fresh over canned any time.

Try them, if you see fresh bamboo shoots in the market. It is a treat not just for the Giant Pandas. Fresh bamboo shoots tastes quite different from the canned ones.

The fresh bamboo shoots I am using here are reasonably fresh, considering that they were shipped from China. I imagine that when the shoots had been harvested the outer leaves would be green coloured, whereas the ones I bought were a light brown colour.

Bamboo shoots are very healthy. They are low in calories and are a good source of potassium, other nutrients and protein.

One important thing to note: Certain types of bamboo shoots have to be boiled first to remove the bitter taste. The shoots contain small amounts of cyanogens that may be toxic. However, cooking destroys these substances making the shoots edible.

This type of bamboo shoots must be boiled to remove the bitter taste.

Here is my recipe for braised bamboo shoots:


2 pieces of fresh bamboo shoot
A piece of scallion, shredded
A knob of ginger, sliced and cut into shreds
One tablespoon of sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for stir frying

2 tablespoons of rice wine or sherry
A pinch of sugar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce, a combination of light and dark soy sauce is good but not absolutely necessary

The edible part, after the outer husks are removed


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Cut the base of the bamboo shoots and remove the tough outer leaves. There will be a good bit of material for the compost. Trim the tough, fibrous bits away.
3. Slice the bamboo shoots and cut into pieces about 2″ long.
4. Put the shoots in the boiling water, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, taste a piece. If there is no bitter taste, the shoots are ready for cooking. Drain the shoots
5. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
6. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the scallions and ginger and fry for a minute.

7. Add the bamboo shoots and stir fry with the ginger and scallions.
8. Add the sauce ingredients and stir to mix everything together.
9. Braise for about five minutes until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
10. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of sesame oil. Toss everything together.
11. Dish up and enjoy.

  1. Note: The boiled bamboo shoots can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Drain and cool the sliced pieces, put in a container and cover with water.
  2. Variations: stir fry bamboo shoots with beans, napa cabbage, bok choy, etc.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *