Bamboo shoot
Edible bamboo shoots
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese竹筍
Simplified Chinese竹笋
Korean name
Hangul죽순, 대나무싹
Japanese name
Kanji竹の子 or 筍
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Bamboo shoots, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy115 kJ (27 kcal)
5.2 g
Sugars3 g
Dietary fibre2.2 g
0.3 g
2.6 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.15 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.07 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.6 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.161 mg
Vitamin B6
0.24 mg
Folate (B9)
7 μg
Vitamin C
4 mg
Vitamin E
1 mg
0.5 mg
0.262 mg
59 mg
533 mg
1.1 mg

Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[1] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[2]

Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are the edible shoots (new bamboo culms that come out of the ground) of many bamboo species including Bambusa vulgaris and Phyllostachys edulis. They are used as vegetables in numerous Asian dishes and broths. They are sold in various processed shapes and are available in fresh, dried, and canned versions.

Raw bamboo shoots contain cyanogenic glycosides, natural toxins also contained in cassava.[3] The toxins must be destroyed by thorough cooking, and for this reason, fresh bamboo shoots are boiled before being used in other ways. The toxins are also destroyed in the canning process.

Harvested species

Most young bamboo shoots are edible after being boiled to remove toxins,[4] but only around a hundred or so species are harvested regularly for edible shoots. These are usually from species that are also cultivated for other uses. These include:[5][6][7][8][9]

  • Dendrocalamus asper – native to Southeast Asia
  • Dendrocalamus latiflorus – native to South China and Taiwan
  • Dendrocalamus membranaceus – native to tropical Southeast Asia
  • Dendrocalamus strictus – native to tropical Southeast Asia and India

Freshly collected bamboo shoots are a good source of thiamine, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. 17 different amino acids have been reported, 8 of them essential for humans. The amount of amino acids in canned and fermented shoots is lower than when freshly prepared.[11]



Woman gathering bamboo shoots, woodblock print by Suzuki Harunobu, 1765
Steamed ryoku-chiku (Bambusa oldhamii) shoots

Raw bamboo is toxic to humans, containing cyanide compounds, hence it is always boiled when used for human consumption.[3] The diet of giant pandas and red pandas is largely made up of raw bamboo; the animals' body tissue is not well able to detoxify cyanide, but their gut microbiomes are significantly enriched in putative genes coding for enzymes related to cyanide degradation, suggesting that they have cyanide-digesting gut microbes.[12]

East Asia

In certain parts of Japan, China, and Taiwan, shoots from the giant timber bamboo Bambusa oldhamii are harvested in spring or early summer. Young shoots from this species are highly sought-after due to their crisp texture and sweet taste.[13] Older shoots, however, have an acrid flavor and should be sliced thin and boiled in a large volume of water several times. The sliced bamboo is edible after boiling. B. oldhamii is more widely known as a noninvasive landscaping bamboo.

Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots. In Japan, menma is a common topping for ramen noodle soup. In China, luosifen river snail noodles, a popular dish from Guangxi, get their famously pungent smell from pickled bamboo shoots.[14]

South Asia

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In Nepal, they are used in dishes that have been well known in the country for centuries. A popular dish is tama (fermented bamboo shoot), made with potato and beans. An old popular song in Nepali mentions tama as "my mother loves vegetable of recipe containing potato, beans, and tama". Some varieties of bamboo shoots commonly grown in the Sikkim Himalayas of India are Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis and Bambusa tulda locally known as choya bans, bhalu bans and karati bans. These are edible when young. These bamboo shoots are collected, defoliated and boiled in water with turmeric powder for 10–15 minutes to remove the bitter taste of the bamboo after which the tama is ready for consumption. Tama is commonly sold in local markets during the months of June to September when young bamboo shoots sprout.

In Assam, bamboo shoots are part of traditional Assamese cuisine. They are called khorisa and bah gaj in Assamese and "hen-up" in Karbi in Assam.

In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Northern Tamilnadu, the bamboo shoots are used as a special dish during the monsoons (due to seasonal availability). It is common in Tulunadu and Malnad regions. It goes by the name kanile or 'kalale in Tulu, Veduru Kommulu in Telugu, and Moongil Kuruthu in Tamil. The shoots are usually sliced and soaked in water for two to three days, after which the water is drained and replenished each day to extricate and remove toxins. It is also used as a pickle. It is consumed as a delicacy by all communities in the region. [citation needed]

In the Diyun region of Arunachal Pradesh, the Chakma people call them bashchuri. The fermented version is called medukkeye and is often served fried with pork. The bamboo shoots can also be fermented and stored with vinegar.[citation needed]

In Jharkhand, India, the bamboo shoots are used as a vegetable. Young shoots and stored shoots are known as karil and shandhna respectively.[15]

In the western part of Odisha, India, they are known as karadi and are used in traditional curries such as Ambila, pithou bhaja and pickle. In monsoon, it can be abundantly found in Bamboo forest of Karlapat wildlife sanctuary and mostly prepared in homes using mustard paste. They can be stored for months in an air tight container. They are also dried in sun increasing their shelf life and these dried shoots are called Hendua. The dried shoots are used in curries of roasted fish, called Poda Macha.[citation needed]

In Nagaland, India, bamboo shoots are both cooked and eaten as a fresh food item or fermented for a variety of culinary uses. Fermented bamboo shoot is commonly known as bas tenga. Cooking pork with a generous portion of fermented bamboo shoot is very popular in Naga cuisine. [citation needed]

In Manipur, India, they are known as u-soi. They are also fermented and preserved after which they are known as soibum. They are used in a wide variety of dishes – among which are iromba, ooti and kangshu etc. [16] The fermented bamboo shoot which is preserved for many months is known as soijin. Soijin can be stored up to 10 years in Andro village. Generally, soijin or usoi is in a big basket made of bamboo. However, they are stored in earthen pot in Andro village.

In Meghalaya, bamboo shoots are either used fresh or fermented and made into pickles, soups with pork or dried fish, or curried and seasoned with sesame seeds or made into a sauce with fermented fish. It sometimes cooked along with yam leaves and dried fish.

In Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, bamboo shoots are a traditional food of the indigenous Jumma people. The preparation of their dishes consist of several steps. First, bamboo shoots are collected from the bamboo forest then defoliated and boiled in water. Afterwards, the bamboo shoot is prepared with shrimp paste, chili, garlic paste, and salt.[citation needed]

Southeast Asia

Filipino ginataáng labóng, bamboo shoots cooked in coconut milk

In the Philippines, bamboo shoots are primarily harvested from bolo bamboo (Gigantochloa levis), giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper), common bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), spiny bamboo (Bambusa blumeana), and two endemic species, bayog (Bambusa merrilliana) and laak (Bambusa philippinensis). Other economically important species also harvested for bamboo shoots include kayali (Gigantochloa atter), male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), and climbing bamboos (Dinochloa spp.) Another endemic species, the lumampao or bagakay bamboo (Schizostachyum lumampao), which are used for making sawali (woven bamboo strips), are also occasionally harvested for bamboo shoots.[10] In Filipino cuisine, the shoots are commonly called labóng (other names include rabong, dabong, or tambo). The two most popular dishes for these are ginataáng labóng (shoots in coconut milk and chilies) and dinengdeng na labóng (shoots in fish bagoóng and stew of string beans, saluyot, and tinapa). They are also sautéed alone or with other ingredients as in paklay, or cooked as fried or fresh lumpia. Bamboo shoots are also preserved as atchara, traditional sweet pickles that are often made from papaya.[17][18]

Yam no mai, a northern Thai salad made with boiled bamboo shoots

In Thai cuisine bamboo shoots are called no mai. It can be used in stir-fries, soups such as tom kha kai, curries such as kaeng tai pla, as well as in salads such as sup no-mai. Some dishes ask for fresh bamboo shoots, others for pickled bamboo shoots (no mai dong).[19]

In Vietnamese cuisine, shredded bamboo shoots are used alone or with other vegetable in many stir-fried vegetable dishes. It may also be used as the sole vegetable ingredient in pork chop soup. Duck and bamboo shoot noodles (Bún măng vịt)[20] is also a famous noodle dish in Vietnam.

Talabaw of the Karen people of Myanmar

In Myanmar, bamboo shoots are called hmyit (Burmese: မျှစ်). They can be used in a soup called myahait hcaut tar la bot or talabaw, bamboo soup. The preparation of this dish generally follows three steps. First, the bamboo shoots are collected from a bamboo forest. Bamboo can be found in the whole of Myanmar but the bamboo shoots from the two northernmost regions (Kachin State and Sagaing Region) are soft and good in taste. The bamboo shoots are then boiled in water after which they can be cooked with curry powder, rice powder, and other ingredients such as snakehead fish and basil leaves. A small amount of rice and some shreds of meat or seafood may also be added.[21][22][23][24] The soup was traditionally used by the Karen people as a supplement to rice, which was not readily or cheaply available to them.[25] Talabaw is one of the most well known soups in Myanmar, and widely considered to be the essential dish of Karen cuisine.[25] Another bamboo shoot dish in Burmese cuisine is a sour bamboo shoot curry called hmyit chin hin (မျှစ်ချဉ်ဟင်း), a specialty of Naypyidaw in central Burma.[26]

In Indonesia, they are sliced thinly to be boiled with coconut milk and spices to make gulai rebung. Other recipes using bamboo shoots are sayur lodeh (mixed vegetables in coconut milk) and lun pia (sometimes written lumpia: fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables). The shoots of some species contain cyanide that must be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely. Slicing the bamboo shoots thinly assists in this leaching.[citation needed]


Bamboo shoots are also eaten in Ethiopia. The locations where bamboo grows are not contiguous. Bamboo shoots of O. abyssinica are eaten in lowland locations of Pawe, Assosa and Bambasi districts of Benishangul Gumuz Regional State and in Sinan Wereda of Amhara Regional State.[27][28]

Bamboo shoots of A. alpina are also eaten in higher elevations, including from two bamboo forests about 80 km. apart, both areas at higher elevations than the surrounding land.[29][30] One is on a mountain south of Mizan Teferi, the other is on the higher elevations near Maasha, between the cities of Tepi and Gore.


See also


  1. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  2. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154.
  3. ^ a b Naturally Occurring Toxins in Vegetables and Fruits, Hong Kong Government Centre for Food Safety, December 2005
  4. ^ Dransfield, S.; Widjaja, E.A., eds. (1995). Bamboos. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 7. Prosea Foundation. pp. 20–21. ISBN 90-73348-35-8.
  5. ^ Akinlabi, Esther Titilayo; Anane-Fenin, Kwame; Akwada, Damenortey Richard (2017). Bamboo: The Multipurpose Plant. Springer. pp. 205–213. ISBN 9783319568089.
  6. ^ Schröder, Stéphane. "Edible Bamboo Species". Guadua Bamboo. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  7. ^ 竹筍, Giasian junior high school Kaohsiung County, archived from the original on 2010-06-27
  8. ^ 張, 瑞文, 四季竹筍, ytower
  9. ^ "107 Edible Bamboo Shoot Species: Attributes and Edibility". CropForLife. 3 April 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Ricohermoso, Analeah L.; Hadsall, Annalee S.; Caasi-Lit, Merdelyn T. (2015). "Morphology-based Diagnostics of Edible Young Shoots of Bamboo Species (Subfamily Bambusoideae: Family Poaceae) from the Philippines" (PDF). 10th World Bamboo Congress, Korea 2015.
  11. ^ The Nutritional Facts of Bamboo Shoots and Their Usage as Important Traditional Foods of Northeast India
  12. ^ Zhu, Lifeng; Yang, Zhisong; Yao, Ran; Xu, Liangliang; Chen, Hua; Gu, Xiaodong; Wu, Tonggui; Yang, Xuyu (2018-06-27). "Potential Mechanism of Detoxification of Cyanide Compounds by Gut Microbiomes of Bamboo-Eating Pandas". mSphere. 3 (3). doi:10.1128/mSphere.00229-18. ISSN 2379-5042. PMC 6001608. PMID 29898983.
  13. ^ 香筍入菜, 行政院農業委員會, archived from the original on 2016-10-06, retrieved 2015-08-12
  14. ^ "How the 'durian of soup' became the hippest dish in China".
  15. ^ "14 Delectable Jharkhand Food Items You Must Try at least Once | Touch to the Tribal World. | Panda Reviewz – Discovering the Best of Food & Travel".
  16. ^ "Usoi". Freshies fresh welcome you. Archived from the original on 2021-08-30. Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  17. ^ Jesse D. Dagoon (1989). Applied nutrition and food technology. Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-0505-4.
  18. ^ "Paklay (Sauteed Bamboo Shoots)". Iloilo Food Trip. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  19. ^ Super Big Eagle!! (2016-08-01). ""หน่อไม้" มีประโยชน์กว่าที่คิด..ลบความเชื่อผิด ๆ ออกจากใจ : ป้องกันมะเร็งลำไส้ ขับสารพิษใต้ผิวหนัง". WINnews (in Thai).
  20. ^ MiMi Aye. Noodle!: 100 Amazing Authentic Recipes. A&C Black, 2014. ISBN 1472910613. Page 58
  21. ^ "Top Ten Kayin things to experience". The Myanmar Times. 11 September 2019. Archived from the original on 27 August 2022.
  22. ^ Kyaw, Min Ye (2018-07-17). "Ethnic recipe: Karen Tarlapaw soup". Myanmore Magazine. Retrieved 2022-12-26.
  23. ^ "Traditional Foods of Kayin State, Myanmar". MyLocal Passion. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  24. ^ "ရာသီစာကရင့်ရိုးရာမျှစ်တာလပေါ့ဟင်း". BNI (in Burmese). Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  25. ^ a b Duwun. "ကရင်မိသားစုတွေရဲ့ထမင်းဝိုင်းမှာ မပါမဖြစ်တာလပေါဟင်းတစ်ခွက်". Duwun. Retrieved 2022-12-27.
  26. ^ Myanmar, MyFood. "မျှစ်ချဉ်ဟင်းလျာ". MyFood Myanmar. Retrieved 2023-01-12.
  27. ^ Mulatu, Yigardu, Tinsae Bahiru, Berhane Kidane, Abera Getahun, and Adamu Belay. "Proximate and mineral composition of indigenous bamboo shoots of Ethiopia." Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences 9, no. 2 (2019): 222-228.
  28. ^ Feleke, Sisay. "Site factor on nutritional content of Arundinaria alpina and Oxytenanthera abyssinica bamboo shoots in Ethiopia." Journal of Horticulture and Forestry 5, no. 8 (2013): 115-121.
  29. ^ Embaye, Kassahun. "The indigenous bamboo forests of Ethiopia: an overview." AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 29, no. 8 (2000): 518-521.
  30. ^ Feleke, Sisay. "Site factor on nutritional content of Arundinaria alpina and Oxytenanthera abyssinica bamboo shoots in Ethiopia." Journal of Horticulture and Forestry 5, no. 8 (2013): 115-121.