All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Takenoko no mizuni / bamboo shoot prep-boiling

Bamboo shoots are the taste of spring. While boiled bamboo shoots are available in vacuum packs, cans and in open bins at Japanese grocery sections or stores, boiling fresh bamboo shoots yourself rewards you with the taste and aroma of the season.

Fresh bamboo shoots are encased in a tough skin, but there is no need to feel intimidated. The skin is simply protecting the jewel inside that awaits.


Takenoko bamboo shoots
Large handful nuka rice bran (200 cc in photo; one handful per bamboo shoot)
1-2 taka no tsume red chili peppers


Cut the tip of bamboo shoot diagonally, and make a lengthwise cut on layers of skins.
The cut makes it easy to remove skin when you are ready to use the shoots.


In a pot, put bamboo shoots, enough water to cover, nuka rice bran and red chili peppers, and bring to boil.

Rice bran tends to make the water overflow when boiling, so keep an eye on the pot.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1.5 hours.


Insert a bamboo skewer to make sure the inside is tender (it should be tender after 1 hour of simmering, but just in case...).

Remove from heat, and cool in the same liquid.

When cool, refrigerate in the same liquid until use, up to a few days.

When ready to use, rinse, and peel skin, beginning at the cut made in Process 1.

  • If nuka rice bran is not available, water used to rinse rice or grains of rice should work.
  • Red chili peppers are added to help keep boiled bamboo shoots fresh.
  • If keeping boiled shoots longer, rinse and change water. You can keep the shoots up to one week if water is changed every day and shoots are refrigerated.
  • Boiled bamboo shoots can also be peeled and kept in fresh water instead of kept unpeeled in nuka liquid. Whichever is more convenient is fine.
  • The soft skin toward the top is also edible.

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