It is Just a Vegetable.
Start with a firm fresh shoot.
This is a young shoot of Phyllostachys viridis 'Houzeau'. The cream base was under ground. The mottled cream middle
was covered with leaf mulch. The Brown tip was above the mulch. The root buds on the culm base have been trimmed
off. I dug the shoot at a perfect age.
Cut off the woody, fibrous base.
The base of the shoot is fibrous and too tough to eat. I believe it would be excellent treats for livestock. If you
knife has trouble going through, discard that part. The sheath leaves are tough but it is easy to feel when your
knife is in tender meat.
Remove the sheath leaves one at a time. The bases are tender and can be left on the shoot.
Remove tough skin.
The skin by the red primordial roots is tough. The shoot will be more tender and sweet if you slice off the root
skin with a paring knife as shown.
Slice off fibrous tip.
The colored part of the sheath leaves is fibrous. What is left of the shoot now is firm, white, crisp. The white
leaves at the tip are good to eat.
Cut in half.
This is a young and perfect shoot. All of the internodes (the hollow spaces) are small and close together. As the
shoot grows, it elongates and the internodes get larger while the walls get stronger.
The tenderest part is the tip because it is the least elongated, effectively it is the youngest part.
Beef pot roast with added bamboo shoots.
Bamboo is a vegetable - like other vegetables it is versatile, healthy, delicious.
You can add bamboo shoots to most any dish that you wish. Each Asian cuisine has its customary way of using bamboo
shoots. You don't have to cook them with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. I have been throwing a handful of chopped
greens into a small wok, adding cooked navy beans, adding bamboo shoots cut up that I had frozen and cooking until
the greens are tender. Then I add a little cheese on top. When it melts I eat it. This is not Asian at all. "Don't
mix dairy with shoots", is the tradition. Well come to find out, bamboo shoots are vegetables that add texture,
flavor, eye appeal to most any dish. Next I will try baking them with potatoes, onions and carrots. Why not?