Not just a treat for the pandas
Fresh, tender and crunchy, bamboo shoots are pandas’ favorite food. They are also among the most celebrated spring delicacies for people across China. (Photos: Shine.cn)
Bamboo shoots harvested around the Qingming Festival (which is tomorrow this year) are of high quality and reasonably priced.
A root vegetable with few calories but lots of fiber, bamboo shoots are widely harvested and eaten in Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces where the climate is ideal for bamboo cultivation.
Dried bamboo shoots can be rehydrated and then stewed in soups. The texture of dried shoots is quite soft and chewy compared to the crunchiness of fresh ones, but boast a unique flavor and can also soak up the flavors of meats and other vegetables in the soup.
Thinly sliced spring bamboo shoots can be stir-fried with finely chopped shepherd’s purse, another spring specialty vegetable that’s usually used to fill dumplings.
Braised spring bamboo shoots are a highlight on the spring dinner table. After boiling the bamboo shoots in water with salt to remove the astringent flavor, they are simply seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and salt.