"When eating bamboo shoots, remember the man who planted them"—Chinese proverb

Bamboo Cuisine
Bamboo shoots, bamboo rice, bamboo wine, bamboo beer, bamboo tea, bamboo leaves, bamboo salt, and bamboo sugar are just a few exotic and delicious treats to try!

Bamboo Shoots Nutrition and Cuisine

Low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, bamboo shoots are high in dietary fiber and a great source of potassium! They're also a good source of Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Thiamin, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. They also contain certain phytochemicals (plant-derived chemical compounds) such as lignans, which are purported to have anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and also phenolic acids, which have mild anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Health benefits aside, bamboo shoots give a sweetness and crunch to many Asian dishes and are especially popular in Chinese cuisine. A favorite Chinese home-style dish is steamed ground pork patties with diced bamboo shoots on top, flavored with soy sauce... delicious! Bamboo leaves are also used as wrappers for "Zongzi", a steamed, glutinous rice dumpling typical of southern China. In Japan, they use the youngest and freshest shoots to make a very light and flavorful dish called "Takenoko Gohan", meaning "Bamboo Shoots Rice." Also, Menma, is a Japanese condiment made from dried bamboo and is a common topping for noodle soup and ramen. As well, many Asian cultures actually use the empty, hollow bamboo stalks to cook rice and soup in, giving foods a subtle, distinctive flavor. So add a little bamboo to your diet and try these delicious recipes below, and follow the links to find more recipes and nutritional information!

Bamboo Shoot Recipes

To start, you can easily find canned bamboo shoots in the Asian-food section of most grocery stores, or you can use fresh shoots which can usually be found in your local Asian market. However, raw, fresh bamboo shoots are bitter and very hard to digest, so they must be cooked or parboiled before eaten. Canned is recommended for ease and availability, but for the gastronomic adventurer give fresh a try!

To prepare fresh bamboo shoots, peel and cut them into slices and cook them in salted water for about 30 minutes, or until tender. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator. You can serve them as a vegetable side dish with a bit of butter, pepper, and soy sauce; add to salads, soups, or vegetable dishes, stir-fry in a wok and serve with rice and soy sauce, or try marinating them in rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce for a delectable treat!

Scalloped Bamboo


3 cups boiled sliced bamboo shoots

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons grated cheese


Directions: Place the cooked bamboo in a greased shallow baking dish. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat; stir in flour. Blend in milk and heat to thicken. Stir in cheese and add salt to taste. Pour sauce over the bamboo and bake in an oven at about 350F for 30 minutes. Serve with paprika sprinkled over the top. (Adapted from The Book of Bamboo, David Farrelly, Thames and Hudson, 1984. p. 279)

Takenoko Gohan (Rice with Bamboo Shoots)

1 whole peeled and boiled bamboo shoot)

3C rice

2 pieces fried tofu (abura-age)

4T Kikkoman Dashi Soy Sauce

1T sake

Prickly ash (Kinome) to garnish

Directions: Wash rice and drain. Boil whole bamboo shoot and peel; then cut the soft core into 1 inch slices. Pour boiling water over abura-age to remove excess oil. Cut abura-age vertically in half to make narrow strips. Cook rice with all ingredients listed, except kinome. Garnish with kinome and serve hot. (Adapted from the Kikkoman website).

Bamboo Shoot Recipes Links

Nutrition Data Nutritional value of cooked bamboo shoots.

Bamboo Shoots Information A PDF attachment about the nutritional and culinary facts of bamboo from the University of Washington.

Takenoko Gohan Try this wonderful recipe for Japanese "Bamboo Shoots Rice!"

Morsels & Musings Try this recipe for Thai Bamboo Shoot Salad!

Bamboo Shoots: Kill or Cure

Video of Finding and Cooking Bamboo Shoots

Edible Bamboo Charcoal

How to Cook Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo Rice Cooker