Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

Seeing as I grew up in southern China, bamboo shoots were always a ubiquitous vegetable that you can find in almost every dish.

While I was writing this recipe, I spoke to a few friends – most of which are from Europe – and I was surprised to find that most of them ‘thought’ that they had never had bamboo shoots.

Now, why did I say ‘thought’?

As I said above, you can find them in almost every dish – within dumplings, chow mein, fried rice, mixed vegetables, spring rolls, and some even add them to chop suey (a Chinese dish that doesn’t actually exist in China). So if you have ever ordered a Chinese takeaway or eaten in a Chinese restaurant, you are likely not a bamboo shoot virgin anymore.

Like most of the root vegetables, bamboo doesn’t have a powerful flavour. Its flavour is rather mild but great at absorbing the flavour that comes from the sauce.

Since bamboo shoots are one of my favourite vegetables (I think they are underrated, and deserve some spotlight!); today I am going to share my very best braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce recipe.

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

You can easily get a tin of bamboo shoots in an oriental supermarket. You may also find them in a large regular supermarket if you live in the UK. They usually come in halved chunks.

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

Slice them into thin, 1cm strips…

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

Because the bamboo shoots have been in the tin of water for too long, I always find them to have an unpleasant bitter taste. I usually boil them in hot water for 5 mins, before I cook them to fix this.

Rinse the bamboo shoots with cold water and shake through a sieve to remove excess water, then set aside.

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the minced garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes until the garlic turns slightly golden in colour.

Add the bamboo shoots and season with salt, sugar, chilli flakes, light and dark soy sauce. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.

Pour in 200ml water, cover with the lid and turn the heat to medium-low to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour on the sesame oil at last, and stir for another minute.

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

You can sprinkle it with spring onion and eat it as is, or transfer them to a container and refrigerate overnight (shake regularly) to develop a stronger taste and serve as a cold starter.

I regularly cook and use them as menma for ramen because the price for a pack of 100-150g of pickled menma in Japanese shops is an outrageous £5😱😱😱!!!!!!!! Plus menma is not easy to get, I only find them in special Japan supermarkets or China town. While a tinned bamboo only costs around £1 for 300g and you can get them easily in the local oriental grocery. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or stored in the freezer for a couple of months (always defrost at room temperature before serving).

P.s Beautiful plate handcrafted by @potterybymiki

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

This recipe was created for Veahero, a cool, new (free!) meal planning platform for vegans and vegetarians.

If you have followed and made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and take a picture, tagging it with #k33_kitchen and share it on Instagram! I’d be very excited to see what you come up with. Cheers, hope you enjoy my recipes! <3 <3

Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)
Braised bamboo shoot with soy sauce (menma)

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 2

Prep.: 5 mins | Cook: 25 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 tin of bamboo shoots (about 300g), sliced into 1cm thin strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 200ml water
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 spring onion, finely chopped (optional)
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Instructions:
  1. Boil the bamboo shoots in hot water for 5 mins, this will take away their unpleasant bitter taste.
  2. Rinse the bamboo shoots with cold water and shake through a sieve to remove excess water, set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the minced garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes until the garlic turns slightly golden in colour.
  4. Add the bamboo shoots and season with salt, sugar, chilli flakes and soy sauces. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in 200ml of water, cover with the lid and turn the heat to medium-low to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Pour on the sesame oil, stir for another minute.
  7. Remove the bamboo shoots from the heat and transfer them to a container.
  8. You can sprinkle them with spring onion and eat it as is, or refrigerate overnight (shake regularly) to develop a stronger taste and serve as a cold starter or as a menma for ramen. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or stored in the freezer for a couple of months (always defrost at room temperature before serving).
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