Fresh bamboo shoots are rare outside the Southeast Asian sub-tropics, where they feature in many recipes as a vegetable, as part of a stuffing or as a garnish for many dishes. They are boiled before eating because they contain a cyanide-type poison which must be broken down. I have often wondered how it was discovered that so dangerous a food could be transformed into a delicacy — who first dared to try fresh bamboo shoots? However, those of us outside Southeast Asia must make do with the tinned variety. This is unfortunate, because fresh bamboo shoots are a true delicacy. The tinned version is an acceptable substitute but one that requires a little work to restore the flavour lost in the canning process. Served with rice, this recipe makes a light and very appetizing vegetarian meal.
Separate the broccoli heads into florets, then peel the stalks if necessary and slice. Blanch the broccoli pieces in a large pan of boiling salted water for several minutes. Drain and immerse them in cold water. Drain again thoroughly in a colander and set aside. Rinse the tinned bamboo shoots well.
Cut the bamboo shoots into
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and re-heat the wok. Add the ginger,
Wipe the wok clean, re-heat and add the
© 1995 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.