Bamboo Shoots

Updated on 24. Apr. 2020

Chinese cuisine without bamboo shoots? No way! Read about the tender vegetables here.

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Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo Shoots...

  • ...have a gentle draining effect.
    With their high potassium content, bamboo shoots help the body regulate its fluid balance and dispose of excess water quickly.
  • ...are beneficial for diabetics.
    Since bamboo shoots contain few carbohydrates, they are an ideal ingredient for diabetics with 100 grams only having 0.1 bread units.
  • ...offer a relatively large amount of iron
    Bamboo shoots do indeed provide some minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. In 100 grams of bamboo shoots there’s three to four percent of the daily requirement for iron and iodine.
  • ...have several vitamins.
    Vitamins A, C, E and B are all found in bamboo shoots, but in very modest amounts.
  • ...contain hardly any carbohydrates.
    A good 90 percent of bamboo shoots is water, meaning they contain few calories and carbohydrates. This makes bamboo shoots the perfect low-carb vegetable.
  • ...can be poisonous when raw.
    Nibbling raw bamboo shoots is not a good idea as they can contain poisonous prussic acid.
  • ...are only good for children in moderation.
    Even though the toxic prussic acid is usually no longer active in cooked bamboo shoots, traces may still remain in some cases. Children should therefore eat bamboo shoots only rarely and in small quantities.

What You Should Know About Bamboo Shoots

While some consumers find bamboo shoots to taste rather bland, others like the neutral flavor. One thing is certain: Chinese cuisine cannot be imagined without bamboo shoots.

They are harvested preferably, and similarly to asparagus, when their tips burst through the surface of the earth at the end of winter. Then, the bamboo shoots are still small and narrow, and are canned as a whole. 


The Chinese have appreciated these extremely low-calorie vegetables for about 2,500 years. The creamy white or slightly yellowish slices or sticks are synonymous with typical Chinese vegetables. In Japan, bamboo sprouts are used frequently for miso soup or sukiyaki.


Bamboo shoots are available at any time of the year.


Bamboo shoots taste mild and pleasantly crisp.

Here you can find all bamboo shoots recipes.

How Healthy Are Bamboo Shoots?

In traditional Chinese medicine, bamboo shoots stand firm as healthy food. They’re said to have a beneficial effect on fluid balance, and come particularly recommended to anyone who wants to lose a few pounds. Bamboo shoots contain around 90 percent water, few calories and hardly any fat. They’re are also perfect for diabetics as they only provide small amounts of carbohydrates.

However, raw bamboo shoots contain the poisonous prussic acid. To be on the safe side, children should only be given boiled bamboo shoots in moderation because of possible residues.

Nutritional values of bamboo shoots per 100 grams  
Calories 12
Protein 2.7 grams
Fat 0.5 grams
Carbohydrates 2.5 grams
Dietary Fiber > 0.6 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips 


Bamboo shoots in a jar or from a can are available in every supermarket, as well as Asian specialty shops, where you will usually find dried or even fresh bamboo sprouts in addition to canned food.


In the unopened glass jar or in the unopened tin, bamboo shoots keep for years. Opened jars belong in the refrigerator, of course. Dried bamboo shoots have an almost unlimited shelf life while fresh bamboo shoots remain crisp in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for several days.


For bamboo shoots from a glass bottle or can, pouring through a sieve is sufficient. Dried bamboo shoots are best soaked for 20 to 30 minutes before use and then rinsed well. Wash fresh bamboo shoots and then, depending on their size, cook them whole or chopped in salt water until they’re firm.

What To Make With Bamboo Shoots

Always add bamboo shoots to a respective dish at the end so that they do not boil. Short heating is sufficient. The vegetables go well with all Chinese or Chinese-inspired dishes, such as wok, salads and soups. Because of their reserved taste, bamboo sprouts can be combined wonderfully with any vegetable, as well as with fish, meat, poultry or shrimps, and seasoned either hot or mild.


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