Have you ever eaten fresh bamboo shoots? It’s nothing like the canned products you can find in a Chinese grocery! In recent years, the wild boar get to them before we can. The number of boar is increasing and they destroy so much farm produce, can scale fences over 1 meter tall and dig under one too.
Hiroo is the one who can dig these shoots. They are 90% hidden under the ground, so there is a trick to digging one up without breaking it in half. In the early morning, he walks over the mountain keeping a close eye out for bamboo shoots.
Yesterday morning, however, Hiroo came down the mountain with a huge basket of freshly-dug bamboo shoots! I didn’t have a big enough pan to boil all those so he built a fire and I sat and fanned it . I boiled them for a good 40 minutes, then peeled them and put into cold water. They’ll keep about a week in the refrigerator. We have enough to share with everyone!!
You can use these in stir-fry or simmer with soy sauce, dashi stock and mirin with a little katsuobushi flakes mixed in. That is how I fixed it last night.
It took a large part of the morning to get this done, but it is a unique experience we have only this time of year. The seasons are clearly defined and each season brings its own bounty: chestnuts and pears in early fall, mikan and oysters in winter, wild mountain vegetables in spring.
Hiroo implanted mushroom “bacteria” in logs and now it is warm and producing big thick shiitake mushrooms like the one in this photo! These logs will give us mushrooms for about 3 years, then we start again with new logs.
I like to slice these, saute in oil and then dip into soysauce with a few flecks of shichimi pepper ( or cayenne)