As I was telling you earlier, spring means a lot of fresh wild vegetables. After the fukinoto the bamboo shoot is probably the next to be found in Isumi area. In particular, the area close to Ohtaki is particularly great for delicious takenoko (bamboo shoot in Japanese). It’s also a great fun to go and pick them. This variety of bamboo shoot is the large one (8 to 15cm diameter), there exists a small one (1 to 3cm) that arrives later and that is even much more fun to pick.
Preparing fresh bamboo shoot is really easy, though a bit time consuming. First of all you need to peel the hard and hairy skin. It peels like a artichoke, so it’s really easy.
Then you need to boil it in something that would remove the bitterness of the wild shoot. In supermarket they often sells nuka (what is used for the pickles) and I was using that until I learn from an old lady at the local farmers cooperative that the first wash of rice was perfectly efficient. Since then I’ve usjng that, and believe me it’s much easier to clean than nuka. You need to boil for 30 to 60min, until soft (you can pick a toothpick easily in). Once cold you can cut and then boil in dashi for 15min. I used katsuo dashi. You can eat now, or add to rice for a “takenoko gohan”. For this I start cooking the rice as usual, then at mid cookjng time I add the bamboo shoot sliced vertically and a little of soya sauce. Delicious to accompany red snapper or bonito.
Ideally you would serve takenokoto with leaves of “ki no me” the leaves of the mountain pepper tree (sansho), mine in the garden is not yet ready…