Edible bamboo shoots are seasonal vegetables for which many Asian-Australians have a soft spot. 
Many Asians worldwide find this ingredient indispensable when it comes to cooking traditional and authentic home-cooked meals. During the pandemic, demand for bamboo shoots even grew in some parts of Asia.

Stir-fry with Adam

Yangzhou fried rice

Yangzhou fried rice from Jiangsu Province is the most famous variety of fried rice in China. Known for the fine knifework in cutting the ingredients, it has been the model for “special fried rice” dishes found on Chinese restaurant menus in the West. Destination Flavour China 

Stir-fried bamboo shoots and cured ham

Combined with Anhui’s famous bamboo shoots and a touch of wild garlic and chilli for colour, this kind of simple stir-fry is a staple dish around the region. Destination Flavour China 

Yangzhou fried rice from Jiangsu Province is the most famous variety of fried rice in China. Known for the fine knifework in cutting the ingredients, it has been the model for “special fried rice” dishes found on Chinese restaurant menus in the West. Destination Flavour China 
Combined with Anhui’s famous bamboo shoots and a touch of wild garlic and chilli for colour, this kind of simple stir-fry is a staple dish around the region. Destination Flavour China 
In Australia, bamboo shoots are typically harder to get than other vegetables. It’s only now that some supermarkets and independent grocers have begun stocking bamboo shoots.
Bamboo is a symbol of prosperity and is mainly eaten during the spring when the shoots are young and tender. The slightly crunchy texture of fresh bamboo shoots, even after being cooked, is a quality that’s hard to find in other ingredients.
If you haven’t eaten bamboo shoots before, I like to think of them as a cross between asparagus and artichokes: bamboo shoots up from the ground like asparagus and needs to be prepared in a similar fashion to artichokes. You need to peel the outer layer off before boiling.
Bamboo shoots are also versatile because once prepared, they can be stored in the fridge or freezer and later be used in a range of recipes like stir-fries and braised bamboo with meat and tofu, and as a garnish in ramen, as they do in Taiwan and Japan.

Duck curry with bamboo shoots.
Even though fresh bamboo shoots are relatively hard to find in Australia, you can easily get the frozen and vacuum-sealed-packed kind.
I enjoy fresh shoots if I’m lucky to get my hands on them. I serve them thinly sliced with mayonnaise – a side dish loved in Taiwan, especially when the weather is warm (which is pretty much always) and bamboo shoots are plentiful.
After my parents first moved to Australia in the 1980s, we ate quite a lot of bamboo shoots. My mum couldn’t part with tradition and continued to make some of my grandmother’s recipes, like soy-braised bamboo with fatty pork and wood ear. 

TRY THIS

Feels like home: Bamboo sticky rice unites this Malaysian community
Rita Enar's enables Sydney's Malaysian community to connect and enjoy traditional Sarawakian food.

Indonesian-born pastry chef Didiet Radityawan, who is currently at STREAT Bakery in Melbourne, says he was a bamboo child too. “A basic [Indonesian] recipe for bamboo shoots is after [they are] boiled and prepared, we add kecap manis before scrambling eggs and prawns,” Radityawan says. The recipe can also include chicken. 
An Indonesian dish featuring this combination is Semarang spring rolls.
“My wife was born and raised in Semarang [in Central Java), so we are very familiar with the recipe, lumpia Semarang [Semarang spring rolls].”
For former chef Nina “Teddie” Huynh, choosing a favourite bamboo shoot recipe is difficult because of the versatility of this vegetable.
“Eating fresh or canned bamboo reminds me of delicious meals shared with my family so it remains a staple in our family year round.”
“There are so many recipes in Vietnamese cuisine – anything from stir-fries to curries,” Huynh says.
When her grandparents became vegetarian in their older years, her family would make vegan-style chop suey with bamboo shoots and mushrooms, and serve it with fragrant jasmine rice.
“This is such a beautiful memory for me,” she says.

Bamboo and yanang soup (keng no mai sai yanang).
These days, Huynh loves adding bamboo shoots to green curries and dumpling fillings.
“Eating fresh or canned bamboo reminds me of delicious meals shared with my family so it remains a staple in our family year-round.”

MORE BAMBOO RECIPES

Pickled bamboo

This pickled bamboo keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator and makes a lovely addition to salads.

Potato with bamboo shoots and black-eyed beans (aaloo tama)

This is a popular Nepali dish in which the sourness of the bamboo is very important. Black eyed beans are also featured, resulting in a hearty home-cooked meal for the family.

Water chestnut and bamboo shoot wontons

Ready-made wonton wrappers make it so easy to create Chinese dumplings at home. They are served in soups and on their own with dipping sauces. Adapt this recipe to suit your tastes, you could substitute chicken mince in the dumplings if you like.

Bamboo and yanang soup (keng no mai)

Yanang leaves are popular in Laotian and Thai cuisine. The juice is extracted by bruising the leaves than soaking them in water. Alternatively, you can purchase cans of yanang extract.

Young bamboo shoots stuffed with pork and ginger leaf

This pickled bamboo keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator and makes a lovely addition to salads.
This is a popular Nepali dish in which the sourness of the bamboo is very important. Black eyed beans are also featured, resulting in a hearty home-cooked meal for the family.
Ready-made wonton wrappers make it so easy to create Chinese dumplings at home. They are served in soups and on their own with dipping sauces. Adapt this recipe to suit your tastes, you could substitute chicken mince in the dumplings if you like.
Yanang leaves are popular in Laotian and Thai cuisine. The juice is extracted by bruising the leaves than soaking them in water. Alternatively, you can purchase cans of yanang extract.
SBS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia.

source

Shop Sephari