In Japan, and in Shizuoka in particular, the bamboo shoots season is about to come.
Fresh, they are so tender and provide a good bite sensation for people with vegan and vegetarian priorities.
Naturally you can buy them tinned all year round, but the quality just does not compare!
The Japanese are very found of new shoots grilled with their “skin” around them to later peel and eat them almost like corn ears!
By the way, did you know that bamboo is not a tree, but a grass?
Here is a simple vegan Japanese recipe. All ingredients hopefully can be found in Asian markets abroad:
Simmered Bamboo Shoots/Waka Take Ni/若竹煮!
-Bamboo shoots: 2 small, fresh if possible
-Wakame: as appropriate (can be boughtin Asian Markets in sachet/bags. Wash their salt off first and soften them if necessary)
-Ki no Me (see above): Ki no me is also also called Sansho or Japanese pepper, especially when fresh and in leaves. It is called Shishuan pepper when dried: as appropriate. If unavailable, use leafy greens or fresh spouts of any kind!
-Dashi: 2 cups/400 cc/ml (Check HERE for Vegan Recipe!)
-Soft taste soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 1 tablepoon (if unavailable, experiment with white wine!)
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 cc/ml
-Peel bamboo shoots if necessary. Cut them along their lengths into 6 radial trips.
-Wash wakame in clear cold water and cut into bite size.
-Pour the dashi, soy sauce, sake, salt and mirin in a pan. Simmer the bamboo shoots and wakame in the mixture for 20 minutes on a medium fire, taking care not to overboil it.
-Serve hot or chilled with its soup decorated with some frsh ki no me or other greens
This is the “soft style” recipe. You may vary the amount of salt and add spices.
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