Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Pork

March 18, 2009 | Chuck
Fresh Bamboo Shoots

Hungry Bear and I love bamboo shoots, but we've never cooked with fresh ones until recently. During the winter time, we always see fresh bamboo shoots in our local Asian markets, but hesitated to buy them until a few months ago.

Neither one of us knew how to peel them, so we searched the Internets and discovered it was relatively easy to prep bamboo shoots. Here's an informative video that shows how they are found and prepared. The bamboo shoots in the video are boiled to remove their bitterness. We're not sure why it is necessary because the shoots we get are not bitter, so we simply peel them following these steps.

We've cooked with fresh bamboo shoots several times now and Hungry Bear created this easy sauté with ground pork. It's a simple dish that really highlights the freshness and crunchy texture of the bamboo shoots. Now that we're comfortable peeling fresh ones, it's going to be really hard to use canned bamboo shoots ever again.

Side Note: For a behind the scenes look at our kitchen, check out Jen Yu's kitchen tours: week 3 on Use Real Butter.

Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Pork

Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Pork Recipe

SND Note: Any protein can be used or you can omit the meat and just serve the bamboo shoots on their own, hot or cold.

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 fresh bamboo shoots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  1. Mix pork, cornstarch and 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pan over high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add pork mixture.  Stir fry until no longer pink.  Remove from pan.
  3. In same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.  Add bamboo shoots, turn heat to medium-high, and sauté for approximately 5 minutes.  Add ginger, wine, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and sugar.  Stir to coat bamboo.
  4. Return pork to pan.  Cook together another 2 minutes or until heated through.
    Serve with rice and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings

[tags]bamboo shoots, pork, chinese[/tags]

18 Comments on “Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Pork”

  1. I’ve been too intimidated to cook with fresh bamboo shoots, but if you say it’s easy, maybe I’ll try soon.

    Saw your kitchen tour on Jen’s blog. Didn’t you promise to give us a full tour a while ago? I’m glad I finally got to see it. So sleek and stylish.

  2. Jen Yu said:

    I just love fresh bamboo shoots! You should have asked me about them – my grandma got me hooked on them several years ago. Everytime I’m in the Bay Area or So Cal when they are in season, I buy a bunch to take home :) Unfortunately, I don’t think there are *any* in the entire state of Colorado. It looks deeeelish, as always. HB is such a rockstar (you too, Chuck!). Thanks for being in our tour, guys. I love your kitchen.

  3. christine said:

    wow! you guys put a lot of effort into these cooking blogs. i love how much time you devote to simple asian cooking. i love your kitchen too. i just went to the other website “use real butter”.

    keep doing what you do! i’ve got a few girlfriends ask me about your sticky rice recipe since i made it!

  4. Asianmommy said:

    I just discovered your site through the kitchen tour at use real butter. You have a beautiful kitchen and a great blog. Love the pictures.

  5. Miss Tish said:

    Fresh bamboo really is the best – it has such a light and pure flavor – the canned has a stale taste – I always hated bamboo shoots until I had fresh – YUM!!! Your blog is beautiful! :)

  6. Garry said:

    This is pretty cool. I’ve always wondered how to prepare fresh bamboo shoots. It doesn’t look too hard.

  7. Cynthia said:

    I’ve just come from visiting your kitchen tour. I am seriously jealous.

  8. Wow – I’ve never seen fresh bamboo shoots to see what they really look like! How interesting. I love them out of the can – I’ll have to try them fresh now!

  9. Dawn Smith said:

    This sounds fabulous….fresh bamboo shoots looks yummy….must try it.. uphere i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients….one of my friend introduced me to a great site and i thought that i can pass great along as well.

  10. jin said:

    I accidentally found this site today while searching for a peanut dipping sauce recipe. All your food looks so delicious and I love the pictures. I’m am enjoying reading your site!

  11. Lauren B said:

    I’ll have to look for bamboo shoots at my local Asian market. Looks like a healthful low starch dinner, yum! The photo of that pork is making my mouth water. :)

  12. bamboo lover said:

    i’ve just ingesteed some fresh bamboo shoots which were delicious till i started to read up on them on the internet. apparently fresh bamboo shoots must be boiled for 10-20 minutes in fresh water for a reason. They contain trace elements of cyanide, which is removed after boiling. I just stirfried and happily ate some fresh bamboo without doing research and now i’m scared. i’m sure i’m not going to die, but it sure feels uncomfortable to read all these warnings about “make sure to boil the fresh shoots to remove cyanide” etc. well, i guess if you have this recipe up and you are raving about the crunchiness, it means you didn’t die so at least that’s a comfort! My ears popping, lets hope its not the cyanide… apparently bamboo shoot is the greatest medicine for everything, when properly prepared…

  13. These shots are beautiful. I love the textures and the warm tones.


  14. Jonathan Louie said:

    Boiling: Not all bamboo is alike. Just like for example, Thistles. Some become artichokes others just thistles. Some artichokes are bitter, some are sweet. I like the globes or the purples best. Bambusa edulis are the sweet species of bamboo, but they aren’t always available in season so others are sold but may not be the sweetest most tender species. So the others definitely need boiling. Cyanide? There are cyanic compounds also in artichokes (see aperitif Cynar), and is what gives that distinctive taste. I’m not a food chemist, but I’d be curious to know more about bamboo shoots and the need to boil. Sometimes I boil the shoots first, because they’ve been sitting too long in my fridge or they are brown at the market, not green and fresh. When I do, they seem to lose their crunchiness. Should I try boiling them in salted water? Maybe water with a grapeleaf for the alum in it? Anyone?

  15. JuJu said:

    Where is this local Asian food market located? Where I’m from we don’t have it… It’s so sad because there’s so many preservatives in the canned and packaged ones that’s why people often assume that bamboo normally have that sour unpleasant odor….

    Please let me know!


  16. Obstacle said:

    The naturally occurring toxins in bamboo shoots are cyanogenic glycosides, which are related to the toxins found in raw cassavas, almonds, and apple seeds and associated with the bitterness of these foods. The toxins are broken down by heat, hence the need to boil bamboo shoots and cassavas.

  17. Hansai said:

    Cyanogen from bamboo shoots is different from cassava. Bamboo shoots contain taxiphyllin whereas cassava has linamarin and lotaustralin Taxiphyllin is p-hydroxylated mandelo-nitrile triglochinin, which can be removed by boiling. Some types of bamboo have a higher level of cyanide than others.

    My mom, who is Vietnamese learned it from my grand mother and great grand mother that bamboo has to be boiled, and cassava to be soaked. They did not know the scientific facts then. It was more by tradition, which I guess came from experiences from previous generations.

    Charcoal grilled bamboo shoots lightly brushed with ponzu and light soy sauce is heavenly.


  1. Seasonal Eats: In Spring, Bamboo Shoots Shouldn’t Are available in Cans | That's Beijing - Beijing and China News

    […] way to appreciate bamboo shoots, consider the following recipes: Oil Braised Spring Bamboo Shoots Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Pork Bamboo and Pork Soup Pineapple and Bamboo Chicken Soup […]

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