Tag Archives: bamboo shoots

Bamboo on the Internet for March, 2015

bamboo prawnsBetter late than never? Bamboo on the Internet for this month is delayed by an abundance of delightful small and large adventures – none of which have anything to do with bamboo. To start, Bamboo Prawns, but not as we know it. Should you find yourself in An Nhon Town in the central province of Binh Dinh, Vietnam, you could pick up a pair for as little as US$16.

bamboo bikeNow that bamboo bikes are all the rage, the competition is fierce to gain an edge over all the other bikes on the market. Last month I wrote about a bamboo-flax composite bicycle. This month I’m bringing your attention to a bamboo-balsa composite frame with 3D printed parts. The bike has an inner layer of carbon fiber, followed by laminated layers of woven bamboo, a balsa core, another layer of woven bamboo, and finally a protective layer of resin.

Learn how to make fire with bamboo. The lesson starts at 4.45 minutes:

bamboo massageAnother must-have from Japan. Chris sent me a photo of a bamboo massage tool. It’s hollow, and he assures me it’s not as uncomfortable as it looks. (Thanks, Chris.)  Tattoos created with bamboo needles on the other hand, are painful. Read a first-hand account of a Westerner getting some traditional tattoos at Wat Bang Phra in Thailand. Interestingly, he mentions that invisible tattoos are becoming popular. Using sesame oil instead of ink, the tattoos still imbue the same protection as ink tattoos because the monks use the same process, design, mantra and powers as they do for ink tattoos.

winerackThis bamboo wine rack caught my attention for it’s sheer simplicity. But once you start looking at wine racks on Amazon, there are lots of different designs.

To finish up, here is another purely gratuitous image involving food. If you’re lucky enough to be dining out in Seoul, you’ll find the Spring Bamboo Delicacies special set at The Westin Chosun. bamboo shoots, bamboo spring

Fermented Bamboo Shoots

fresh bamboo shootsFermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that promote balance of intestinal flora. And they taste good. As a recent convert to fermenting, my next step in that adventure is fermented bamboo shoots. I’m just waiting for the bamboo to shoot.

The north-east of India, with the largest stock and diversity of bamboos in India, also has many different ways of preparing fermented bamboo shoots. Traditional methods of fermentation are often supplemented with more convenient materials.

fermentation, fermented bamboo shoots Mesu
Bamboo shoots are finely chopped and pressed into a green bamboo stem. The openings are covered tightly with bamboo leaves. Left to ferment under natural anaerobic conditions for 7-10 days. Eaten as a pickle.

Soibum
Thin slices of bamboo shoots are packed into a chamber, covered with plastic sheets and pressed with weights. The bottom of the chamber is perforated to allow for draining before being left to ferment for 6-12 months.

Soidon
Entire tips of bamboo shoots are submerged in water in an earthen pot. Liquid from a previous batch is used as a starter. Leaves from garcinia pedunculata (an acidic tropical fruit related to purple mangosteen) are often added for extra flavour. Soidon is eaten as a curry or a pickle.

fermentation, fermented bamboo shootsEkung
Chopped bamboo shoots are packed into bamboo baskets, covered with leaves and sealed. Heavy stones are used to press excess water from the ferment. The baskets are buried in a pit in the forest. Ekung is fermented for 1-3 months. Eaten raw or with cooked dishes.

Eup
Dry fermented bamboo shoots are prepared in a similar manner to Ekung. After the fermentation process, the bamboo shoots are dried in the sun for 5 – 10 days. Eup is eaten as a side dish.

The information here only covers broad methods of fermenting bamboo shoots in India. I’ll post again when I find the simple recipes I want try. Do you have any you’d like to share? In the meantime, I can highly recommend books on fermentation by Sandor Katz. There are heaps of other books about fermenting on Amazon and eBay, as well as a good range of fermenting crocks, to save you the trouble of digging a hole.

References:

Bamboo on the Internet for September, 2014 – my picks

  • bamboo shoot recipesWith bamboo shoot season getting closer in the southern hemisphere, here is a timely reminder to seek out new bamboo shoot recipes. The original caption tells us that this dish hails from the north eastern states of India. The recipe for this bamboo shoot stir is here.
  • black burger, bamboo charcoal, bambooWho could resist a black burger? Images of the Japanese Burger King wonders were all over the Internet this month. Black buns, black cheese, black ketchup. Its here because the black buns are bamboo charcoal bread.
  • Bamboo bicycles are becoming more popular. I haven’t posted any here before because of their apparent ubiquity, but the DIY version looks really interesting.

bamboo sculpture, brisbane festival, cave urban, bamboo

  • This was one of the bamboo sculptures at the Brisbane Festival this year: Brisbane Airport Light Garden, a collaboration between Tony Assness and Cave Urban. Cave Urban are now calling for expressions of interest to volunteer for the 2014/2015 Woodford Folk Festival project, “Woven Cloud”. Details, and more stunning images, are on their website. Last years project, a bamboo tunnel, was featured here.
  • BOO! is a show by French trapeze artists, CirkVOSTA using a 15 metre high mobile bamboo structure. Click here for a short but mesmerizing YouTube clip of a practice session. Or watch the longer 5 minute vid of the show. Read more here.

  • Popularity can be problematic. In Burma’s northern Shan State, the forests are disappearing. Villagers seek out bamboo shoots to smoke-dry and sell to Chinese traders.  The pressures on the environment are two-fold: the foragers are taking potentially unsustainable numbers of bamboo shoots and, huge amounts of timber are needed to feed the smokehouse fires. Full story and video clip here.
  • Bamboo memory foam pillows. They’re new to me. The claims are marvellous: life span of 10 years; dust mite resistant; hypoallergenic; anti-microbial; and, machine washable…  Amazon have them and they rate 4.3 stars out of 5, but they don’t ship to Australia. eBay au had some at the time of writing.

The best bamboo lunch

Reflecting on the recent trip to South Korea and Japan, there is one meal that is a particular stand-out for me. The meal featured bamboo in many guises. My hosts in Tokyo kindly took me about in Chiba one fine day, with a plan to eat at this roadside diner. One of the special bamboo ‘sets’ were ordered for each of us. A tray with dishes arrived. Then the rice, with bamboo of course, in its own hot-pot type bowl with rustic wooden lid.

bamboo meal, bamboo

On the tray were pickled bamboo, soup with bamboo shoots, a selection of other pickles, and a glass of plum juice, all made by the farmer who grew them. Then came the sticky potato. And the deer stew. That’s pickled kiwi fruit in the red dish.

bamboo meal, bamboo

This sticky potato dish is made from the wild tuber found in the mountains nearby. It hardly resembles conventional potato in any way except perhaps colour. Savoury flavourings were placed on top on the slimy goop in the bowl and we mixed them in ourselves at the table. Delicious. As was the deer stew. Probably the richest flavoured deer stew I have tried in Japan. Then came the bamboo tempura.

bamboo meal, bamboo

Normally I don’t eat wheat flour, but this was worth making an exception for. Perfect crispy tempura batter. Perfectly textured bamboo shoot awaiting inside.

bamboo meal, bambooIt was the Takean branch that we dined at (I think). The fridge was stocked with local bamboo shoots, and all manner of locally made pickles. The freezer stored blueberries, and more bamboo shoots from the recent spring season. The shelves displayed more local produce and products. The owner is, quite rightly, very proud of the fine quality food he uses to turn out the excellent dishes we were so fortunate to sample. He told us he makes everything from scratch. No English spoken here, and you won’t see an English menu. Take a Japanese speaker. You’ll probably need them to at least get the directions from the website.

bamboo meal, bamboo

The freezer on the left is a fish pond.

 

Bamboo rice in Damyang

Wandering around Damyang for the bamboo festival there is very little to assist non-Korean speakers, probably because there are few non-Koreans. When I saw a restaurant  that provided an English translation of their small menu, I dived in.

Eating in Korea is a social thing, so as a solo traveler I was not surprised to get some strange looks, even a few sympathetic ones. But here I was at the Damyang Bamboo Festival and I was hungry. I ordered the bamboo rice set.

bamboo festival

The first arrivals. Fresh bamboo shoots to the left.

Several side dishes arrived and I started. I was feeling pleased with my choice as it all looked quite manageable. Wrong. More side dishes arrived, then the bamboo rice.

The table that seats four diners was full of dishes. Each one was small and special.

bamboo festival, bamboo rice

Bamboo rice to the left.

I tried all of them but could only finish some of them. It was just too much.

The bamboo rice had some kind of beans in with it too. I didn’t detect any special flavour to the dish because it was cooked in the bamboo, although I’m sure the locals would argue otherwise.

Bamboo shoot recipe – Naga fish and bamboo shoot curry

bamboo shootsThe bamboo shooting is nearly over here. After the initial monsoonal surge, the weather has settled into a pattern of showers rather than tropical downpours.  Here is the second of Liya‘s Primal and Paleo-friendly bamboo shoot recipes, for the last bamboo shoots of the season.

Bamboo shoot is one of the underrated ingredients which add sparkles to Indian dishes yet remain least used in most parts of India. However, inhabitants of north east India, especially the Nagas, have developed a special love for this exotic ingredient. No wonder you’ll hardly come across a Naga curry or chutney without bamboo shoots in them and their fish curry is not an exception as well.

Every Naga household has their own secret recipe to cook this classic dish but all these versions are unified by one dominant ingredient – bamboo shoots or ‘bastenga’ as they are called in Nagamese. The tender, delicate essence of the bamboo shoots receives a zesty complement of the Indian spices, thus making the dish shine. But it’s the pungent aroma of the mustard oil which ties up the flavours together and adds an amazing depth to the dish. But don’t let the long list of ingredients freak you out! This dish is unassumingly simple to cook and could be the ideal choice when you are busy or too lazy to spend hours in the kitchen. Simply cook all the ingredients together and you are ready to enjoy a flavoursome curry for your dinner.

bamboo shoot recipeNaga fish and bamboo shoot curry

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

For the curry:

  • 1 kg Rohu or any white fish, cut into medium pieces
  • 1 cup fresh bamboo shoots, shredded (you may also substitute it with canned bamboo shoots)
  • 1 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 garlic pod, cloves separated, peeled and crushed
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 5 green chillies, halved longitudinally
  • 500 ml water
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Mustard oil

To marinate:

  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Coconut oil, to shallow fry

Method:

  • Add all the marinating ingredients into a large bowl and stir them all together to mix well.
  • Lay out the fish pieces into the bowl and rub the spice mixture all over the fish; set them aside for an hour to marinate.
  • Drizzle a lashing of vegetable oil into a skillet and heat it over moderate flame.
  • Place the fish onto the skillet and cook them, a couple of minutes per side, until they brown evenly on both sides; drain them out onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat the mustard oil in a casserole dish until its raw smell disappears.
  • Throw in the onion chunks and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until they caramelize.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle the spices on top.
  • Stir them all together and throw in the bamboo shoots, followed by a splash of water.
  • Place a lid on top and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes and reduce it to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes and lower the fried fish carefully into the simmering curry.
  • Scatter the chopped shallots on top and cook further for another 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Remove from heat and let it rest, covered for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Cauliflower rice (or steamed white rice) and fresh salad.

Bamboo shoot recipe – Prawn and bamboo shoots in coconut curry

I asked Liya Das for some Primal and Paleo-friendly Indian bamboo shoot recipes. Here is the first one: 

Special guest post from Liya

Do you have a special corner for spicy food? If yes, then Goan food is bound to blow your mind away! Goa, a small state in the west coast of India is synonymous to coconut, spices and seafood. So when these aspects come together in one single dish, the outcome is nothing short of magic. Bamboo shoots make an interesting addition to the entire ensemble as well and turn this Goan curry into an ultimate gastronomic indulgence.

While tinned bamboo shoots can be used in this dish, but nothing compares to the crunchiness and delicate flavours of the fresh shoots. The narrower shoots are packed with maximum flavours and when not processed properly, they can ruin a dish with their bitterness. So make sure to peel off the hard, outer layers and soak the tender part in water overnight to get rid of any unpleasant flavors. However, if you can’t wait to enjoy your bamboo shoots, boil them in salted water, drain and soak them in fresh, cold water for at least half an hour before using.

Once processed properly, the bamboo shoots are ready to blend with the spicy flavors to please your taste buds. The coconut milk mellow out the spiciness to some extent and teams up with the marine flavors of the prawns to create mouth-watering result.

So run off to the recipe to taste a slice of India with this classic Indian curry.

Prawn and bamboo shoots in coconut curry

bamboo shoots, recipeServes: 4-6

For the spice paste:

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4-7 cloves
  • 1 cm cinnamon stick
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4-6 dried red chilies
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

For the curry:

  • 450 g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • One large pinch salt
  • 3 medium fresh bamboo shoots, diced
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried coconut
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • Few fresh curry leaves

Method:

  • To marinate, sprinkle the ground turmeric as well as a dash of salt onto the prawns and stir them all together until well coated; set aside to marinate for half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the spices for the paste into a dry, hot skillet and fry for several minutes until they start spluttering and give out a spicy aroma.
  • Tip them into a blender along with rest of the paste ingredients and pulse them into a smooth paste; set aside until necessary.
  • For the curry, heat coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and throw in the chilies as well as onions.
  • Saute for a while until they soften and stir in the dried coconut.
  • Scatter the curry leaves on top and saute over moderate heat for another 3-4 minutes or until the onion caramelise and the coconut gives out its characteristic aroma.
  • Stir in the tomato chunks and cook for another 5 minutes, while stirring often.
  • Scrape out the prepared spice paste into the pot along with few splashes of water.
  • Stir them all together to mix well and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes and throw in the chopped shoots.
  • Simmer further for another half an hour over slow flame, while stirring at times, until the mixture nearly dries out.
  • Pour in the coconut and bring it to near boiling temperature over moderately high heat while stirring often.
  • Dump the marinated prawns into the curry and reduce the heat back to low.
  • Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the prawns turn pinkish, indicating that they are cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat and let the curry rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop further.
  • Serve hot with hot cauliflower rice (or just steamed rice) and have fun!