For those who prefer to buy their bamboo shoots already picked, Global Growers will be bringing them to the Clarkston Farmers Market on Sundays and offering them through their community supported agriculture program.
When you get your fresh shoots home, treat them as you would an artichoke. Slice a quarter inch or so off the bottom and peel off any tough outer leaves. Cook the whole shoot in boiling water until tender, which can take 20 minutes or more, depending on how old your shoots are. Once you can pierce the shoot with a skewer, drain and cool, then peel off the leaves to get to the heart of the shoot. You can serve it whole, or slice into bite-size pieces.
Fresh bamboo shoots are especially appreciated by Global Growers’ farmers from Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos and Cambodia, said Susan Pavlin, director of Global Growers Network.
The Burmese farmers at Global Growers recommend serving slices as an appetizer, dipped into soy sauce, or stir-frying them with fish sauce. They also like the fresh shoots in soups made with pumpkin leaves, rice, young squash and cilantro or made with fish heads and roselle leaves.
Once you try fresh bamboo shoots, you’ll never eat those canned ones again.
At local farmers markets
Farmers market openings:
8 a.m. – noon. Saturday, May 4. Smyrna Fresh Produce Market, Smyrna. http://www.smyrnacity.com/index.aspx?page=15&recordid=3565
4 – 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7. Whistle Stop Farmers Market, Norcross. www.norcrossfarmersmarket.com
4 – 8 p.m., Thursday, May 2. Chef Seth Freedman of Forage and Flame offers demos throughout the evening.
9 a.m. Saturday, May 4. Chef Todd Richards, The Shed, working with garlic. Morningside Farmers Market, Atlanta. www.morningsidemarket.com
10 a.m. Saturday, May 4. Chef Craig Richards, Ecco. Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Atlanta. www.peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com
Vegetables and fruit: arugula, Asian greens, asparagus, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, chard, collards, cucumbers, dandelion, English peas, fennel, green garlic, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mache, mushrooms, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, spring onions, strawberries, sugar snaps, tomatoes, turnips
From local reports
Hot and Sour Soup
Hands on: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes: 6 cups
1 fresh bamboo shoot (about 3/4 pound)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili oil
12 ounces brown beech mushrooms, or other mushrooms as desired
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into thirds
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
Cut 1/4-inch from base of bamboo shoot and remove any loose outer leaves. In a large saucepan, cover bamboo shoot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook bamboo shoot for 20 minutes or until you are able to pierce bamboo shoot with a skewer. Allow to cool in cooking water. If not using immediately, refrigerate for up to one week.
In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add lemon juice, soy sauce, white pepper and chili oil. Taste for seasoning. Reduce to a simmer and add mushrooms. Cook 2 minutes. In a small bowl, stir water and cornstarch together and add to soup. Cook 1 minute.
Remove bamboo shoot from cooking water. Remove outer leaves until you get to the solid core of the shoot. Cut shoot in half lengthwise and then cut into bite-size slices. Add to soup. Add shrimp and green onions and simmer soup 3 minutes or until shrimp turns opaque. Serve immediately.
Per 1-cup serving: 118 calories (percent of calories from fat, 18), 16 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated fat), 58 milligrams cholesterol, 181 milligrams sodium.