The Taste of Home Braised Bamboo Shoots
By Xi Yu & Dan Yi
500g bamboo shoots
75ml vegetable oil
75ml soy sauce
15ml sesame oil
10 grains Sichuan peppercorn
1. Wash and cut bamboo shoots lengthwise,5 cm each.Use the flat of the knife to gently hit the shoots to tenderize them.
2. Heat the pan. Add oil and peppercorns and cook over medium heat to infuse peppery flavor into the oil. Remove peppercorns.
3. Fry the bamboo shoots till golden brown before adding soy sauce, sugar and water. Continue to stir-fry.
4. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, till the sauce has coated all the shoots.
5. Add sesame oil before serving.
Most of us have fond memories of foods from childhood. Whether it’s our grandma’s special soup or a tasty regional delicacy, the foods we loved as kids have a way of transporting us to the joys of the past.
In Search of the Taste of Memory
A recent reunion with an old friend brought back fond foodie memories. David is a gourmand who loves to eat seasonal veggies at their peak of flavor. We used to comb the mountains in search of the top seasonal ingredients. Digging up bamboo shoots was our favorite springtime routine. Despite leaving my hometown decades ago, I still crave a plate of braised bamboo shoots, a traditional Chinese treat.
After chatting for a bit, we decided to go in search of fresh bamboo shoots for old times’ sake. We found a slope covered in a lush carpet of green. Young bamboo shoots are especially tasty and tender. Fresh shoots are delicious in soups, salads and stewed dishes. Braising them is a wonderful way of preserving their fresh flavor and crispness.
Bamboo shoots are high in fiber and thus can aid digestion and prevent constipation. They have a high nutritional value, consisting of protein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, C, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and iron.
The significant amount of oxalic acid in bamboo shoots may cause eye and skin irritation in some people. Also, calcium oxalate (kidney stones) can form when a person eats copious amounts of high-oxalate foods. Elderly people and the very young, along with those who have serious allergies, are advised to consume bamboo shoots in moderation.