Bamboo Shoots in Vietnamese Cuisine

Bamboo Shoots in Vietnamese Cuisine

Bamboo shoots are popular around the world and has thousands of uses. This kind of tree is used as materials in building for scaffolding, bridges and houses. People can produce decorations, souvenirs, kitchenware, paper… from bamboo. Nevertheless, not many people know about that bamboo shoot is an ingredient to make lots of delicious dishes and they may not have been tried these foods. Peeling outer leaves reveals the delicate champagne-colored inner leaves (top left).  This is the only part of the plant is edible to human. This root vegetable has unique flavor and texture. Fresh inner part of bamboo shoot is tender,crunchy and crispy. It taste bitter but sweet after eating.

Bamboo Shoots in Vietnamese Cuisine

Bamboo shoot contains vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and iron. It is also high in fiber. It is good for blood, digestion and  dietary. So that bamboo shoot is a popular food in Eastern countries as well as Vietnam. However, bamboo shoot is high in glycocid which causes headache, sturdy, nausea,  respiratory disorder… That’s reason why Vietnamese cooks find many methods to remove glycocid from bamboo shoot. Followings are some popular methods to remove glycocid  after peeling outer leaves:

  • Boiling the whole inner part 2-3 times, then soaking the shoot in rice water for 2 days, rice water must be changed twice a day;
  • Slicing or shredding inner part of bamboo shoot into thin slices or small strips, soaking them in water overnight and wash again before cooking;
  • Boiling the whole inner part and wash by water many times until quite tender and not bitter;
  • Keep outer leaves, boiling whole bamboo shoot with some chili pepper without seeds until bamboo shoot is tender, then peeling outer leaves, wash inner part a few times.

In addition, Vietnamese people also make dried bamboo shoot so that they can save it for a long time. After being cooking, dried bamboo shoot is tender, chewy and has different taste from the fresh one.

In Vietnam, there are many kinds of bamboo shoots which are grown in South Vietnam, bamboo shoot of Manh Tong bamboo (Denldrocalamus asper) is the best one. There is a moving story about this kind of bamboo shoot. Once upon a time, Manh Tong was the man who loved his mother so much. When his mother was sick, she would like to taste soup with bamboo shoot. It was in dry season so that there was no any bamboo shoot. Although Manh Tong went everywhere to find bamboo shoot, he didn’t succeed. In a forest, he cried near a bamboo bush, his tears had made bamboo shoots grew from the bush. Manh Tong was happy to bring the bamboo home and cook the soup for his mother. She was well after eating the soup with bamboo shoot. Vietnamese people named this kind of bamboo shoot after Manh Tong.

Bamboo shoot is a part of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Households usually cook soups/curry dishes/stewed dishes/stir-fry with fresh or dried bamboo shoot and pork/chicken/duck. They also make pickled bamboo shoots to serve with steamed rice and main dishes or use to cook various flavorful dishes. Below are top Vietnamese dishes from bamboo shoots:

  • Soup with fresh/dried bamboo shoot with pork legs – a must dish at Tet festival in Vietnam, especially North Vietnam;
  • Stir-fried dried bamboo shoot with chicken guts;
  • Braised pork with dried bamboo shoot;
  • Stir-fried dried cellophane vermicelli with dried/fresh bamboo shoot;

Bamboo Shoots in Vietnamese Cuisine

Rice Noodle Soup With Duck And Bamboo Shoot

Stewed Pork with Bamboo Shoot, Carrot and Mushroom

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Com Lam – Vietnamese sticky rice in bamboo

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