Getting Bamboo Shoots, Kumamoto, April 2017

18 Apr

We let the kids explore lots of new things in Japan. We hope they do remember the experience as they grow.
Beginning of April is when the bamboo shoots (タケノコ) starts to grow and people will dig them to enjoy the shoots in many kind of dishes. I saw one of my friend did the digging last year and looked into the internet to find information about it.

We found a place near Mount Kinpo, called Yuuhouen Fruit Land.

The place was not difficult to find, and apparently they also have fishing activity and cafe for the visitors.
We had to climb up to the top to get to the bamboo forest. The weather was warm on that day and my littlest one complained during the walk 😆 so I Guess this kind of activity suits better for primary’s school age onwards.

Digging the shoots was not easy, because we must make sure we don’t destroy parts that are delicious to eat.
The fruit farm charged about 1000 yen / kg of the shoots, which is double the price of buying the shoots directly from the market.

The place provided the tools (Rental was 100yen/person) and free guide. They provided a guide that will help you taking out the shoots out of the ground (this part is not easy, so to be honest, I am not sure if we could do the whole thing by ourselves. The Uncle did the tough finishing part)

Some muscle works during the experience, good one for families to try. After that, the next part is how to process those fresh bamboo shoots 😅 and it would be my job 😅

Some say that you can cut and grill the fresh shoots directly after you take out from the ground. But once you want to bring them home, you need to boil them, few minutes with boiling water, and then 2 hours with Low fire, then leave them soaked overnight.

This is the info from internet I found why you need to do the boiling and the soaking.

There is a grain of truth to the rumor: the shoots of some species of bamboo do contain cyanide.  Or rather it contains taxiphyllin, a chemical that causes cyanide to form.

I did some cooking with the shoots and everyone enjoyed them 😊

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