Skip the hassle of parboiling fresh bamboo shoots using packaged boiled bamboo shoots. You’ll be able to add it directly to your cooking.
Boiled bamboo shoots, or Takenoko no Mizuni (たけのこの水煮), are parboiled and packaged bamboo shoots. They are the young and tender shoots harvested from the bamboo plant.
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What Is Boiled Bamboo Shoots
Boiled bamboo shoots are a convenient way of incorporating bamboo shoots into your cooking. Fresh bamboo shoots are only available for a short time between March and May and are associated with the spring season.
Fresh bamboo shoots are a hassle to prepare, as you must parboil the insides in an alkaline solution, usually water with rice bran (nuka 糠), for about an hour until tender, then peel the thick husks. This removes the bitter taste from the fresh shoots. Packaged boiled bamboo shoots skip this step and are also available year-round.
What Do They Taste Like
Boiled bamboo shoots have a mildly sweet flavor. The commercial packages are unseasoned, so they won’t interfere with the recipe you’re following. It has a slightly crunchy texture.
How To Use
You can find whole, halved, quartered, and sliced bamboo shoots packed in water or vacuum sealed. The gritty white substance you see is rice bran residue from the parboiling. It’s safe to eat, but you can wash it off if it concerns you.
To use, drain the water, cut into your desired size, and add it to your cooking.
Recipes Using Bamboo Shoots
- Bamboo Rice (Takenoko Gohan) たけのこご飯
- Beef and Green Pepper Stir-Fry (Chinjao Rosu) チンジャオロース
- Chikuzenni (Nishime) – Simmered Chicken and Vegetables 筑前煮
- Simmered Bamboo Shoot (Tosani) たけのこの土佐煮
Where To Buy
Find boiled bamboo shoots at Asian and Japanese supermarkets. Bamboo shoots from Japan are the most expensive compared to those imported from China or South Korea.
How to Store
Soak any leftovers in clean water, preferably in a container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
The shoots offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. They are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and contain vitamins and minerals. Benefits include promoting digestive health, aiding in weight management, supporting heart health by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, providing antioxidants for cellular protection, boosting the immune system, contributing to bone health, and potentially having anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.