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


Takenoko gohan / steamed rice with bamboo shoots

A reminder of spring. One of my favorite rice dishes when takenoko is in season.

1/3 of recipe:
210 calories; 4.9 g protein; 1.7 g fat; 40.9 g carbohydrate; 39.8 g net carbs; 95.3 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 146 mg with regular soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.1 g fiber

1/2 of recipe:
315 calories; 7.4 g protein; 2.6 g fat; 61.4 g carbohydrate; 59.8 g net carbs; 143 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 219 mg with regular soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.6 g fiber


Small handful takenoko no mizuni boiled bamboo shoot (92 g in photo)
1 small usuage thin deep-fried tofu
1 180 cc cup total regular rice and mochigome sweet rice  (7 parts regular rice and 3 parts sweet rice in photo)
Approx. 175 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt

*1 rice cooker cup = 180 cc


Rinse regular and sweet rice together, drain, and let sit at least 30 minutes.


Boil usuage to get rid of excess oil. Squeeze out excess water, and dry with paper towel to absorb more oil and water.

Thinly slice takenoko and usuage.
Takenoko is sliced crosswise here, as the section near the base (more fibrous) is used.


Add sake, soy sauce, shiokoji and dashi to slightly below 1-cup mark.

Add takenoko and usuage, mix well, and cook.


When done, wait 10 minutes, and gently turn and fluff.
Ready to serve.

  • Katsuokobu dashi (or kobudashi for vegans and vegetarians) is recommended for this dish.
    The more mochigome sweet rice you use, the less water (overall liquid) you need. More mochigome sweet rice means the dish tastes sweeter but also contains more calories.
  • If not serving soon, it is better not to use shiokoji, as it would make rice mushy when left for some time. In this case, use salt (max 1/4 tsp) instead. When 1/4 tsp salt is used instead of shiokoji, the total sodium content figure would be 238 mg per 1/2 of recipe above (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 314 mg with regular soy sauce).
  • If sodium content is not a concern, I would use usukuchi soy sauce for a clear saltiness and pale color for this dish.
  • Takenoko bamboo shoots are very tender toward the tip and tougher toward the base.
  • This is lightly flavored compared to average takenoko gohan. Pair this with a dish that is somewhat strongly flavored for a good contrast.
  • All bamboo shoot dishes taste best when prepared with fresh or freshly boiled shoots, as these have a crispier texture and distinctively aromatic tangy taste. Fresh takenoko starts to appear at some Chinese grocery stores, including Ranch Market in Edmonds (north of Seattle), in February. Very good boiled bamboo shoots (boiled on site or nearby) usually are available for a limited period of time in late spring at Japanese grocery stores.

(Last updated: August 26, 2016)

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