Skip to content

Foodstuff: Bamboo Shoots in Brine

Bamboo in brine 1

Bamboo shoots are a common ingredient in Asian cuisine that most people have sampled at one time or another but, for the most part, usually only the ones that come in cans. Quite honestly, I don’t care for them when packed this way as the canning process imparts an unpleasant metallic taste that can only be remedied by lengthy soaking, during which time any other flavors get lost as well.

I love pickled or fermented bamboo shoots (see my post here) and also the dried sort, which will be featured in an upcoming post, as both of these have a very unique and delicious character (albeit something of an acquired taste, for some). The fresh article is, unfortunately, something I have yet to be able to cook with as the only times I have seen it in stores is when I was travelling and it was not practical for me to buy it. Accordingly, when I am in the south, I like to buy the brine-packed type you see pictured above. These are not nearly as flavorful as the dried or fermented products, but they add visual appeal and a nice texture to many dishes and have the added advantage of no nasty metallic qualities…

There are many different species of bamboo harvested for edible shoots and there is a decent listing of the various kinds at Wikipedia. The large ones you see in the above picture (with a teaspoon included for scale), are identified as 麻竹 on the package. The first character means hemp and, according to Wikipedia, the botanical name is Dendrocalamus latiflorus, and the species is one of the more fibrous ones and generally suitable only for canning or drying.

The smaller variety are sold as 尾笋, which, as best as I can translate, means something like ‘horsetail bamboo shoot’. I don’t see this referenced at Wikipedia and I rather think that they may actually be a juvenile version of the ones in the larger package.

Bamboo in brine 2

These are the ‘horsetail’ shoots out of the package and, as you can see, they have a very pretty appearance. They are actually not very salty, despite being brine-packed, but they also do not have the nice fresh taste I recall from having the unprocessed types in restaurant meals. I find, though, that soaking for an hour in cold water to which a few drops of vinegar has been added, re-freshens them quite nicely.

I have decided that this package will be used to cook a Sichuan style vegetable dish along with green-beans. The larger package will make several meals, but I also plan to do a purely vegetable dish first using black mushrooms as well. Stay tuned…


10 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is very nice find –brined bamboo shoots. I have many recipes that I need bamboo shoots. However, so lucky for me I found this great place in Causeway bay that sells fresh bamboo shoots and they are just gorgeous with a very easy a simple shrimp stir fry. Delicious. Wishing you and the family a very happy New Year. Take Care, BAM

    December 30, 2012
    • You are so lucky … I wish we could get them here 😦

      December 30, 2012
  2. here in my country (Philippines) we cook seafoods like shrimp and crabs with thinly sliced bamboo shoots (known locally as “labong”) in coconut milk. very delicious.

    December 30, 2012
    • That does sound good… bamboo is especially nice with seafood!

      December 30, 2012
  3. Come to my New Year’s Eve party and bring along a morsel or two to share!

    December 30, 2012
  4. I appreciate your enthusiasm for Asian inspired food dishes. But still, am looking to see how folks up North celebrate the holidays…. Merry Christmas!!

    December 30, 2012
  5. I love me some bamboo shoots. Because I’m a panda 🙂

    No, just kidding. My ancestors ate pandas 🙂

    Just kidding about that too! Actually . . . they probably did . . .

    December 31, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo Shoots | Sybaritica
  2. Sweet Red Pork with Bamboo | Sybaritica

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .


My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design


Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?


Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season


If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes


a recipe sharing and bento blog


Just another site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!


home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations


Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: