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We spent the day yesterday waiting for email to import and hunting for, digging up, preparing and cooking takenoko (bamboo shoots). It's nearing the end of the season, but there were still enough in our backyard for a few meals worth. Last year I blogged a longer entry about the process. This year I focused on the photos. We also used a slightly different recipe and did it without relying on our neighbors.

I've posted the pictures as a flickr photo set.

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mmm Wow. Never guessed bamboo had these kind of bulbs and that you could eat them. I'm also surprised of the charcoal as part of the recipe. What does it do? Flavor or absorbing certain components?


I don't know too much about it apart from eating them as a part of a dish once or twice, which was delicious. But the name 'takenoko' has a very melodical sound. Delicious :)

Carbon probably removes some of the alkaline "aku" from it. See the recipe link.

Neoteny must have fallen on pretty hard times if you have to scrape for food in your backyard, or compromise your blogging ethics for a bowl of soup ;-)

For great traditional Japanese vegetarian food try Akasaka Tofu-no-Ie in Sanyo Building in Akasaka, it's the block opposite Hie Shrine and on the other side of the block from the big street - not hard to find.

I was there in 2003 and bumped in by accident this week and it's absolutely fabulous! I'm discovering new dishes and the staff are really sympathetic.

Pic here:

I think I read somewhere bamboo is in fact toxic when raw. Therefore you must boil it for to make it adible. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

There are very strong alkalines that can be quite bad for you and boiling gets rid of them, but very tender young takenoko is sometimes eaten raw. Takenoko sashimi.

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Joi Ito has posted a neat photo set documenting the process of hunting, unearthing, prepping, and cooking bamboo shoots. They're called takenoko in Japanese, and they're mighty delicioso. "It's nearing the end of the season," he says, "but there were ... Read More