One of the most popular sansai vegetables (mountain vegetables), bamboo grass is the young shoot of the nemagari-take bamboo.
Bamboo grass is a culinary name for the young shoots of bamboo. Harvested while still quite small — about the size of an asparagus spear — this ingredient is used in cuisines all across Asia, from the Himalayas to Indonesia to Korea. In Japan, it’s a popular sansai or “mountain vegetable.”
Although almost all bamboo types contain some amounts of a toxin that creates cyanide when digested, the processing methods for bamboo grass eliminate it, making them safe to eat. Along with being simmered or boiled, other preparation methods include fermentation and canning. From there, bamboo grass is used in soups, salads, dumplings, and many other dishes across the continent.
Along with being tasty, bamboo grass has the additional benefit of containing lots of vitamins and minerals.
Uwajimaya carries both canned bamboo shoots and fresh bamboo grass, which you’ll find in our canned goods and produce sections.