Last weekend, Elaine visited my grandma for a birthday celebration. Guess what? We enjoyed a bamboo shoot celebration. Bamboo shoots are extremely popular forest vegetable ingredient in China for over 2 thousand years. They are very yummy and  nourishing. Usually bamboo shoots are available in forest in Spring and Winter.  

Srping bamboo shoots

Small bamboo shoots grow quite fast in Spring after spring rains. And bamboo shoots with shells are harvested when they are around 40cm to 60cm long. Different types of bamboo have various sizes of bamboo shoots. This small and tender bamboo shoots are the most loved ones in my hometown.

Srping bamboo shoots

After harvest,we peel the shells and get the tender crunchy shoots.

Srping bamboo shoots
Srping bamboo shoots

In every Spring, we will harvest a large amount of bamboo shoots. They are healthy and delicious in stir fries, soups or sometimes used in dumpling fillings.

Srping bamboo shoots

The unshelled bamboo shoots usually aging very quickly, thus a fast and in time blanching is extremely important. The appropriate blanch is very much determined by the type and size of the bamboo shoots, vary from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. But in general, we do not suggest simmering bamboo shoots for a long time. After that, you can cut them into small pieces and use in stir fry recipes.  Following is spring bamboo shoot stir fried with pork slice. 

bamboo shoots stir fried with pork slices

Another way to keep the bamboo shoots for long time is to pickle them in jars. We call pickled bamboo shoots as “酸笋”, literally mean sour bamboo shoots. Sour bamboo shoots can give common soup extremely delicious taste. Following is pickled bamboo shoots and duck soup.

bamboo shoots stir fried with pork slices

A note from Elaine, if you visit China in Spring, make a schedule to a rural home inns providing Spring bamboo shoots.  They will be your best food memories.

Srping bamboo shoots

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Very detailed explanation of bamboo shoots. I was born in China myself and now live in UK for the last 15 years. Loved your blog, wondering if you have studied in UK as well? Anyway, would love to hear from you!

    1. I never study abroad, but my major in university is English study. Maybe I would have a chance to UK in the future ?

  2. I would like to try fresh bamboo shoots. Bamboo grows here where I live and I was wondering how to use it. After reading this I will try it.

    1. Fresh bamboos are treasure. We love it so much. I will post a recipe introducing how to prepare and cook them in details. Happy cooking!

  3. Hello, I have been trying to find a good recipe for Sichuan cold bamboo shoots in chili oil (made from fresh bamboo). Do you have one, or can you direct me to one?

    Thank you, I love your recipes!!

    1. January,
      Bamboo in chili oil is really a lovely snack!! I love it very much too. However I don’t have the particular recipe now. I will seek a chance to make one or you test your own one using this homemade chili oil.