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Foods

Bamboo shoots


Why Eat It
Preparation
Nutrition Chart


Why Eat It

You've probably eaten crisp strips of bamboo shoots in Chinese dishes. They are literally the shoots--the young, sprouting stems--of a bamboo plant, which is a type of grass, and not a tree. Sometimes the shoots are cut when they first appear, but they may also be "hilled"--piled with soil as they grow, which prevents the development of the green pigment chlorophyll so the shoots remain pale. In supermarkets, you can usually find only canned bamboo shoots, which have been peeled and cut into strips. However, Chinese grocery stores often carry the fresh, whole shoots, which are cone-shaped, and about 4" long.

The fresh shoots are a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, and potassium. Canning the shoots, however, strips them of most of their vitamins and minerals.

Preparation

After rinsing, canned bamboo shoots can be added directly to stir-fries; they are precooked and need only to be heated through. Fresh bamboo shoots should be boiled until tender, then husked and cut up; they can be stir-fried or served as you would asparagus.

Nutrition Chart

Bamboo Shoots/1 cup cooked

14
Total fat (g)
0.3
Saturated fat (g)
0.1
Monounsaturated fat (g)
0
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
0.1
Dietary fiber (g)
1.2
1.8
Carbohydrate (g)
2
Cholesterol (mg)
0
Sodium (mg)
5
Potassium (mg)
640

 


Date Published: 04/19/2005
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