Sunday, 15 April 2007

Rice with bamboo shoots - たけのこ ご飯

Rice with Bamboo Shoots (takenoko gohan)

I think I've mentioned before how much I like Yasuko-san's Home Cooking, for the simple home-style recipes and cute step by step illustrations. I often check back to her daily food diary on the front page for inspiration, and this recipe for Takenoko Gohan, rice cooked with bamboo shoots, recently caught my eye.

Bamboo is in season at the moment, and whole shoots fresh from the ground, like these, have starting popping up at the local supermarket.

Unfortunately, they need to be pre boiled with rice bran and all sorts of things before you can use them. Since I was both lazy and unable to find instructions that didn't involve a pressure cooker, I bought my bamboo shoot pre-boiled. It was incredibly soft and squishy and smelt a little like tahini. Look for something like this:

Boiled Bamboo Shoot

or in a plastic bag, labelled たけのこ水煮. If you want this year's spring crop (and trust me, you do!) make sure the kanji 新 is involved somewhere.

Fresh bamboo is nothing like the canned shoots I used to buy in Australia, which seem stringy and hard in comparison, and this simple, fresh and crunchy dish was a pleasant reminder that the days of weary winter produce are over. Now if only the weather would catch up.

1 comment:

K & S said...

My grandfather used to have a takeyabu (bamboo grove) in his backyard, so we had takenoko all the time. You don't need to boil it in the rice bran, just put the takenoko in useable sizes and put them into a glass jar and fill the jar with tap water. Change the water everyday and the takenoko should last at least a month or longer (if you don't eat it all up first!) :)