Tag Archives: bamboo shoot

Takenoko (Bamboo Shoot) 8/May/19

During this year’s so-called Golden Week holiday, we visited my family and relatives in Gunma prefecture, 150km north of Tokyo. Growing up, all I wanted was to get out of the suburban city where we lived, but going back there with the new perspective through my daughter’s eyes, everything looks different. Thanks to her, I’ve rediscovered what I had missed and failed to see all these years ago.

For the past few years in every May, we visit my aunt & uncle who live in the mountains for Takenoko diggings. After climbing up the ladder on their retaining wall to get to the bamboo grove behind their beautiful wooden house, we avidly started searching for the little shoots peeking out of the fertile soil. It is my daughter’s third time this year, and she appeared to be confident and know exactly what to do with the large spade.

We dug more than 20 of them and brought all of them home, many of which we shared with our neighbors back in Tokyo. I cooked a few of them (need to boil them for an hour as a preparation), from Takenoko rice, Takenoko curry and the most popular Takenoko Tempura (fritter). I served the tempura on the bamboo plate handmade by my auntie, as a side dish to the Udon noodles also from my hometown of Gunma.

Kindergarten bento – Takenoko rice (8/May/17)

During the so-called Golden Week holidays at the beginning of May (one week of consecutive public holidays), we took a short trip to up in the mountains in Gunma prefecture where my aunt and uncle live. Every spring we enjoy visiting them at their beautiful traditional wooden house, built entirely by my carpenter uncle, and going for Takenoko (bamboo shoot) digging in the mountain at the back of their house.

This was only the second year to do Takenoko digging for our daughter, but she was very comfortable and enthusiastic going through the woods to find the small signs of bamboo shoot emerging from the ground.

The hardship of Takenoko digging is worth every sweat. The eating bit afterwards is a great pleasure. This year, I cooked Takenoko rice in an earthen pot for a Sunday brunch with our good friends after coming back from Gunma, coupled with the white asparagus dish inspired by my Dutch husband’s roots. For those who are interested in the recipe of the Taeknoko rice, click here for the one I used.

The leftover Takenoko rice was packed for my daughter’s bento the next day. Last year she could not eat Takenoko, but this year the bento box came back empty!
Takenoko, bamboo shoot