Saturday, February 16, 2019

How to forage and cook bamboo shoots

Nothing like freshly foraged bamboo!

I live in the Waitakere Ranges and there is quite a bit of bamboo here, mostly considered a weed, but as you know I eat quite a few weeds, and this is no exception. I have some in my driveway too, but I tend to walk down to the neighbour, who has some really big clumps of big bamboo! Or it brings it to me, since he sees when new bamboo shoots up... you have to be quick picking the shoot, once they are out of the ground they grow very quickly! The image below is the maximum length allowed.

I started cooking bamboo shoots when I was living in Japan, they were different kind, much 'fatter' but these are good too, better than buying canned bamboo! Peel off the outer green layers, then cut into slices (I also like to cut the tips into two to see the layers), rinse and place in a pot or salted boiling water. Cook for about 15 minutes, then discard the water, rinse, and place in another pot with salted boiling water for few more minutes until soft enough to be cut with a knife (but still a little crunchy. I do this to take away the bitterness.
Store in this second brine solution until time to use it. 

The tips (the best part) can be served as a side dish for a Japanese dinner, the round bits are good in stews and stir fries, but I tend to cut off and discard the nodes, which are harder (I do this after cooking the bamboo shoots). 

For this stir fry I used bamboo shoots (previously cooked as above), oyster mushrooms, and carrots. Heat a little vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil, add a tsp of mince ginger and then the chopped vegetables. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, then add a tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of Japanese soy sauce, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add chopped coriander at the end (optional). Serve with rice. 

Happy weekend!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Dejar Alessandra,
    I'm Arantxa. I'm trying to send you an email but can't find your address. Could you get in touch with me:



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