Bamboo Shoots

Glossary - Plant Derivatives



HTML clipboardThe shoots (new bamboo culms that come out of the ground) of bamboo, called zhú sǔn  or simply sǔn in Chinese, are edible. They are used in Asian stir fry, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms. Bamboo shoot tips are called zhú sǔn jiān

In Indonesia they are sliced thinly and then boiled with santan (thick coconut milk) and spices to make a dish named gulai rebung. Other recipes using bamboo shoots are : sayur lodeh (mixed vegetables in coconut milk) and lun pia (sometimes written lumpia; fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables). Note that the shoots of some species contain toxins that need to be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely.

Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots.

The sap of young stalks tapped during the rainy season may be fermented to make ulanzi (a sweet wine), or simply made into a soft drink. Zhúyèqīng jiǔ  is a green-coloured Chinese liquor that has bamboo leaves as one of its ingredients.

Bamboo leaves are also used as wrappers for zongzi, a steamed dumpling typical of southern China, which usually contains glutinous rice and other ingredients.


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