Spring in Kyoto is not only about sakura, but also the delicious spring vegetables. Bamboo shoot is considered as one of the local products/vegetables from Kyoto and it is now in season. We have received five batches of bamboo shoot so far, and expecting more to come in following weeks. We were invited to the bamboo farm for the harvest last year, looking forward to this year's outing.
For the last three years we lived here, we always received home-grown rice, vegetables and fruits of season. It is really a privilege of living in a small town surrounded by mother of nature and friendly people, I am loving this neighborhood more now.
Now, talk about bamboo shoot. Chinese and Japanese both love to eat bamboo shoot, but I found that Japanese is more passioned in this unique ingredient and use it in many dishes. I remember when I was little, we only eat bamboo shoot during Chinese New year. Japanese prepared bamboo shoot in many ways, including this bamboo shoot condiment called "menma" (麺麻/麺碼 ) that is commonly used as topping for ramen.
Fresh bamboo shoot has to be boiled before turning into delicious dishes, here is how I prepared my bamboo shoot Japanese way. Kind ojicyan even included a pack of ground rice hulls when he brought us some bamboo shoots. Oh yes, the good news is you do not have to peel the bamboo shoot layer by layer. Fast and saving space in the rubbish bin too.
How to prepare fresh bamboo shoot:
- Peel the bamboo shoot as shown in the picture above.
- Put it in a pot, fill in enough water to submerge the bamboo shoot. Fill a tea bag with 2 tablespoons ground rice hulls and drop into the pot. If you do not have it, use the water from washing the rice.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. Turn the heat off and let it stay in the pot for another 30 minutes.
- Remove water, rinse and ready to eat.
- To store:Put boiled bamboo shoot in a container, fill with enough water to submerge it and keep in the refrigerator. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a week, but need to change the water daily.
I have prepared this sort-of salad dish twice, hubby and friends loved it. My Japanese friends simply called it "kimchi" as it looks like one to them. Stuff mix with chili is often referred to as kimchi. I corrected them a few times, it is Chinese style "salad", or similar to Japanese “あえ物” but did not insisted. Most important, everyone enjoyed it.
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
- 200 g boiled bamboo shoot
- 2-3 prigs coriander
- 2-3 tbsp seasoned chili oil (调味入麻辣油）
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- Submerge bamboo shoot in iced water for about 10 minutes, pat dry with paper towel then cut into thin slices.
- Cut coriander into 2-3 cm in length.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Add extra salt to adjust the taste if necessary. Mix well.
- Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.
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Here, few photos of Sakura 2015 I took last month. This year, the whole week of sakura season in our area was hit by bad weather days. Cloudy, and rainy.In fact, I had to bring our laundry to coin laundry three times in a week to use the dryer there.