bamboo shoot

[English] plural bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are the young, ivory-coloured, conical shoots of bamboo grasses are a good source of edible fibre. They may be treated in the same way as asparagus, used raw in salads, pickled or freshly boiled in Chinese cuisine. Larger ones are chopped and incorporated in a made-up dish. They bulk out salads but add little flavour.

The preparation of fresh shoots is complicated so it is probably better to use tinned ones. Boiling releases an amino acid (tyrosine) that leaves a white residue on the surface of the shoots. You may prefer to rinse this off before using.

In Japan they are used in soups, simmered dishes and mixed rice dishes. In China they are salted, dried in the sun and macerated in sweet wine. They are available in Chinese shops, where they are known as "choksun".

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