One of the fastest-growing plants in the world, Bamboo is a type of grass that can grow up to 30 feet (10 meters) in just a matter of hours. The leafy plant is known by many different names including Bambusa, Mimusops Elengi, and Gunness. Due to their tastiness as well as rich health benefits, Bamboo shoots are a popular cooking ingredient in many Asian countries due to their good taste as well as great health benefits. Let’s get into the topic; How to eat bamboo shoots.
The shoots are sharp and hard to hold. Its leaves can grow up to 35 m! They have broad lanceolate pointed leaves that look like young short green corn cobs sticking out of the ground.
This is a rather exotic product and people in the Western world are just now starting to take notice. Most people will grow indoor bamboo plants for decorative purposes. It’s been eaten by Asians for a very long time now and there are many health benefits to this choice. Let’s get into the topic; How to eat bamboo shoots.
Many people have never tasted these crunchy, flavorful sprouts before, so they may be wondering what they taste like. Bamboo shoots taste like corn to some people. When they are previously cooked and then eaten, they can be very sweet.
In cooking, bamboo shoots are usually used dried, fresh, or canned. Amazingly, it is easy to find this “exotic” ingredient as their canned and packaged versions are usually found on the shelves of many global brand supermarkets. But, it is more difficult to find it fresh. More on the topic; how to eat bamboo shoots.
Studies have been made on the composition of cooked and raw bamboo shoots, with an emphasis on the nutritional benefits they offer. Young bamboo shoots are becoming so popular that they are being incorporated into Asian cuisines in more ways than one. Below is the nutritional and calorie content of the bamboo shoots is 27 kcal per 100 g, of which:
- Proteins: 2.6 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Dietary fiber: 2.2 g
- Ash: up to 0.9 g
- Water: 91 g
Some types of bamboo shoots can be poisonous if they are not properly cooked. Nevertheless, we recommend you also be careful when:
Are you pregnant? Consuming it during pregnancy can tone the uterus and provoke bleeding. More on the topic; how to eat bamboo shoots.
Many children in Asian countries regularly consume the sprouts at a very young age of 1.5 years old, therefore it is not harmful to them. But, be very careful introducing a new dish into the diet for European babies under 3 years old. After all, it is not known what kind of reaction it may cause.
Refrigerating bamboo shoots can extend the shelf life of these incredibly delicious vegetables for up to 2 weeks. But if you keep them for a longer period of time, be aware that the sprouts may taste bitter. Boiled shoots can be frozen for up to two weeks when you boil them first and then put them into an airtight bag.
Make sure you purchase the canned versions of sprouts a few days before the due date on the can. This will help them remain fresh for a year. However, make sure that you check the expiry date printed on the can.
After the recommended expiration date, you should store any leftovers and consume them as soon as possible. They may not taste or look the same after that date. However, they’re still safe to eat.
The sprouts are just new bamboo buds that are harvested before they grow hard and fibrous. Fresh sprouts typically have a crunchy texture with a bitter taste. However, canned sprouts can be stored in an airtight container for extended periods of time at room temperature.
Always fry with fresh sprouts, it will taste better and has a lot more flavor. Canned shoots are pre-cooked and packed in water. They are sold whole, sliced, or chopped.
In making spicy and sour soup, it is recommended that you get the grated ones. You can also find fermented versions that have been spiced with a variety of herbs or spices. For health reasons, the best choice is naturally, to use fresh ones because they keep all the good nutrients, minerals, and vitamins inside.
Bamboo that is not heat-treated or properly treated for the substances in its leaves can be dangerous to consume. It is important to remember that some bamboo species contain a substance called linamarin, which is metabolized by the body and can release hydrogen cyanide. This substance may lead to severe poisoning.
Some bamboo types may be bitter when eaten whole and raw. However, it turns into a normal taste after boiling, cooking, or frying. It is best to boil fresh bamboo for up to 30 minutes.
Most bamboos are bitter and should be boiled before eating, but, there are also types of bamboo shoots that can be eaten raw. Some bamboo shoots have fresh stems that are crunchy and sweet. The sweet varieties are Dendrocalamus, Bambusa, and Phyllostachys.
In many Asian cuisine dishes, sprouts are a key ingredient in many of the recipes that include them are also Asian-inspired.
- Braised bamboo shoots with dark soy sauce
- Stir-fry with pork, beef, or chicken
- Stir-fry with mushroom and long beans
- Laos sour bamboo stew
- Vietnamese chicken soup with shoots
They can typically be found in different grocery stores or Asian markets depending on where you are in the world. They would be the packages of canned bamboo shoots since they stay fresh for long periods of time. Asian ingredients are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace, and this is actually a healthy thing ordering them online has made it incredibly easy.
In China and most parts of Asia during springtime, you can purchase bamboo shoots at any market or store. In many parts of the world, it is not that difficult to find them. Asians usually cook the sprouts with meat such as chicken, pork, and beef.
The slightly sweet crispy, flesh of the sprouts is often used in a variety of salads, soups, or stews. Furthermore, vegetable side dishes with young shoots of this plant are common. You can also stew them with cabbage or mushrooms.