Interesting Facts and How to Cook Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoot is something that you don’t cook every day. Maybe some of you didn’t even know that bamboo shoots are edible! Bamboo shoot is yummy. Ask a panda! I’m sure they will agree! But kidding aside, bamboo shoot is something you should give a try (if you haven’t tried it yet!).

 I think you have tasted it, found it to your liking, asked your Asian friend where he bought it, and now you want to try cooking it! Wear your apron and let’s do this! Let’s answer how to cook bamboo shoots! But before that, first, let me tell you more about bamboo shoots. Here are some awesome facts about bamboo shoots!


Bamboo Shoot Nativity

Bamboo shoot dishes are common in, Asian countries. They have been harvesting the shoot since ancient times and consuming them as food. Bamboo shoots are known to have cyanogenic glycosides which are poisonous when consumed! This is the same glycoside that is found in cassava.

This cyanogenic glycoside is easily destroyed and neutralized through cooking. So, don’t worry. In many Asian countries, they are sold sliced, and pre-boiled. In the US, you can easily have them from the grocery store. They are already in the can, and the cyanogenic glycoside is neutralized in the canning process.

What Does Bamboo Shoot Look Like?

Fresh bamboo shoots are a little hard to come by. If you know a Chinese store nearby, you could ask them if they have fresh bamboo shoots. The shoot is shaped like corn with green to the brownish scaly skin (like an elongated dragon egg!). The skin is thick, and woody. It’s like an armored corn if you can put that in your imagination!

It has a faintly sweet and woody smell with a dominant earthy aroma. They are harvested when they are about 6-8 inches tall with a diameter of 1.5 to 3 inches. They shoot from the ground up pointing in the horizon.

This piece of shoot could have been a mighty bamboo that sways with the wind. They could be a great material for cottages and some beachy looking furniture. But they won’t have a chance. They will be sustenance. They will end up in our bellies instead!

If you love it so much, you should plant it in your garden for a steady supply. If you don’t have time for that, a fresh shoot from the Chinese grocery is your next best choice. If that option is not available in your location, you can have the canned version instead. But I can’t promise you that canned bamboo shoots are as good as the fresh ones!

What You Get From Eating Like a Panda

Eating bamboo shoot has some awesome advantages on your health. You can incorporate it on your healthy eating habit to a better you!

1. Low Calorie And Glycemic Index.

Bamboo shoots very low calories! For every hundred grams of bamboo shoot, you get 20 calories! You can fill your stomach with a few hundred grams and not worry about gaining weight! For people who have diabetes, this superfood is very good for you. They have very low glycemic index too which can help you manage your sugar levels.

2. Excellent Source Of Dietary Fiber.

Aside from the low caloric content, every hundred grams of bamboo shoot contains 6-8 grams of dietary fiber. An average person needs 28-35 grams of dietary fiber per day for a healthy digestive tract movement. A hundred grams of bamboo shoot in a single meal already gives you about a quarter of your daily needs!

3. Rich Source Of Potassium And Other Trace Elements.

If you have read the label of your multi-vitamins, you will be surprised that bamboo shoots have a fair amount of it for every serving. It’s not that you could replace your vitamins with bamboo shoots, but, bamboo shoots are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals.

4. Cancer-fighting Phytochemicals.

Fruits, vegetables, and other forms of plant food are rich in phytochemicals that can help fight cancer causing agents. Bamboo shoots are one of the good sources of it.

Hot to Prepare Bamboo Shoots

If you have a canned bamboo shoot, there is no special preparation for it. You just open the can and drain the liquid it comes with and voila! You have some sliced and pre-cooked bamboo shoot. But if you happen to get your hands on some fresh bamboo shoots, you are in for a delicious treat!Here’s how to prepare fresh bamboo shoot.

  • With your sharp knife, cut the roots of the bamboo shoot.
  • Make an incision from the bottom to the top cutting along the midline of the shoot. Don’t worry if you cut them a little too deep. It’s okay. You will be removing the first layer of the bamboo shoot anyway because they are thick and woody.
  • After removing the scale-like layer of skin, you will end up with a tender and hollow bamboo shoot. Now, peel the whole shoot to remove the remaining thick skin.
  • Slice and cut depending on your recipe.
  • Boil for at least ten minutes to neutralize the cyanogenic glycosides then drain and set aside for cooking.

How to Cook Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo shoot is neutral tasting and can be added to many recipes. They are famously added on spring rolls and dumplings. But aside from that, there are many other ways to prepare and enjoy the bamboo shoot. For a simple recipe, here’s how to cook bamboo shoot stir-fry.

Here’s what you need:​

  • 2 cups of fresh bamboo shoots cut into one-inch strips (or canned bamboo shoots)
  • 1 medium onion (you can use whatever variety you like)
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 medium bell peppers cut into strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s how to cook it.

  • In a medium pan, sauté onion until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic and cook the garlic until it’s fragrant. Don’t overdo the garlic as they may taste bitter when overcooked.
  • Add the soy sauce, then mix in the pork. Mix thoroughly and cook for about eight minutes over the low fire while stirring in between. Add pepper.
  • Stir in the bamboo shoot and cook for about five minutes or until the bamboo shoot has softened.
  • Add the oyster sauce and add some salt to adjust the taste.
  • Mix in the bell pepper and cook a few more minutes.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice or serve as a side dish.

Now, this is a truly mouth-watering dish that will bring the family closer together over dinner! This recipe serves about three people. Double or triple the recipe if you are expecting more guests!

Other Ways to Enjoy Bamboo Shoot

Aside from stir fry, you can try many ways to cook bamboo shoot. Again, the neutral tastes make it a perfect addition to anything!

Steamed Bamboo Shoot

The steamed bamboo shoot is the simplest way you can enjoy them. Just add some salt and pepper and bring it alongside some barbecue dinner!

Bamboo Shoot in Curry

Well, bamboo shoot is not your main ingredient here, but, you can add them to curries! They are awesome, and they will surely add up to the nutritional value of whatever you are cooking!

Bamboo Shoot Mackerel Soup

If you want to try something different, you can have a bamboo shoot in soup! You can cook a canned mackerel and add some bamboo shoots to it!

Bamboo Shoot Chicken Soup

We all know that chicken soup can make your flu go away. Now, multiply that effect by adding bamboo shoot in your recipe! Yep, it can be as simple as that! If you get some fresh shots, don’t forget to boil them first before adding to your chicken soup!

Bamboo Shoot and Seafood in Coconut Milk

If you are not a fan of bamboo shoot, I’m sure you would still love to get a serving of this! Add bamboo shoots in a medley of shrimp, muscles, and other seafood!

Final Words

I’m sure you will enjoy this simple bamboo shoot recipe. You can even invite the friends and family over dinner! They would love it too! Now that you know how to cook bamboo shoot, you have more reason to have more of it in the diet!

If you are planning to lose some weight, eat more of this so that you won’t get hungry! Did this post get you hungry? Now, find the nearest Chinese grocery store and hunt down a bushel of bamboo shoots! Feel free to share this page if you liked it!

Leave a comment below, and I will get back to you soon! Share me your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to leave your question below!

Kristin Ryals

My name is Kristin, and I'm a housewife with big love for cooking. When I'm not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America's Next Top Chef, I'm browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Outside of the world of cooking (as if there is one!), I enjoy reading, skydiving, live music, and of course, shopping!

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