Baby Bamboo Shoots: Takenoko

It’s finally spring,

Spring with cat tail

and in Japan young bamboo shoots are included in meals as a symbol of the new season. Here in Michigan, I have not yet seen any fresh bamboo shoots in the Asian stores near home, but parboiled bamboo shoots, sealed in heavy plastic are available most of the time. The bamboo shoots I usually see are cone shaped, about 3″ in circumference and 4″ to 6″ long. Something like this. They have a very elegant inside geometry that you would never guess if you have used only the canned ones available in most U.S. supermarkets.

So when I found these unusual baby bamboo shoots—which look quite like white asparagus spears—I had to try cooking them in miso soup. (You saw this soup in my previous post.) I used 2 cups dashi, 1 Tablespoon Haccho miso, 2 teaspoons Saikyo miso to make the soup just for myself and added some sliced green onions. They were fun to eat, but I don’t think they had as much flavor as white asparagus spears have.

miso soup with baby bamboo shoots

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