A while back I posted about our trip to the bamboo forest to pick bamboo. Noriko kindly edited the footage, and now you can learn to harvest, prepare, and eat takenoko, or bamboo shoots.
How to Dig Bamboo
How to Boil Bamboo
How to Make Wild Boar and Bamboo Miso Soup
How to Make Bamboo Shoot Rice
Takenoko Gohan is a traditional spring dish. It's delicious.
How to Make Wild Fern Salad
How to Picnic in a Bamboo Forest
On great thing about living in rural Japan is all the food that grows locally. I’m not just talking about gardens, though there are many of those. People here eat all kinds of things: buds from trees, wild onions, ferns, and bamboo shoots.
The last few weeks we’ve had the good fortune to pick some of this food ourselves. A friend of ours, Shuji Ozeki, took us to his friend’s home in Seki. We hiked into a nearby bamboo forest and looked for bamboo shoots called “Takenoko”.
The shoots are easy to find, they look like brown cones sticking up from the ground. They’re even easier to pick. You just dig around the shoot and then give the root a couple of whacks with the shovel and up it comes.
Kazu had a good time finding them, it was like an easter egg hunt in the forest. After we dug up a bunch, Shuji set up a table and cooked us a picnic lunch. We had miso/fern salad, takenoko soup with wild boar, and takenoko rice. It was delicious. Shuji taught us how to prepare the takenoko we’d picked. When we got it home we knew what to do.
We peeled back the dark brown leaves, revealing a soft whitish tender bit that looks kind of like an artichoke heart. Then we boiled it for an hour and let it soak over night. After that, we sliced it up and added it to rice. You can do just about anything with takenoko. It makes great tempura, stir fry, you can even grill it.
We’ll be uploading a video of Shuji demonstrating some great recipes as soon as we’re done editing it.