Bamboo shoot has been an important part of Chinese cuisine for thousands of years. The best season to eat it is late winter and early spring. The ones sold in winter are more tender, juicer and a lot expensive because they have to be dug out from underground by hand.
Bamboo shoot hunt in spring time is very fun. I went on a few such trips with my family when I was little. We hiked into high mountain area where wild bamboos grew into a forest. A couple days’ spring rain may expedite bamboo shoot growing. At the right timing, we could harvest between 60 to 80 lbs bamboo shoots on one single trip.
Good old times...
And now my family is still doing their traditional annual bamboo shoot hunt in spring for fun. I do mine too, here in China town O(∩_∩)O~
Pickled vegetable is an old traditional way to preserve food when food was scarce. There is a pickle jar in my kitchen which I brought back from China so that I can make my own pickled peppers and other vegetables at home.
They taste great straight out of the pickle jar. Sometimes I sauté pickled peppers with pork or beef. The combination is amazing!
Ingredients for beef marinating：
200 g beef chuckeye roast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons water/ chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Ingredients for stir fry：
200 g bamboo shoots (sold in most Asian grocery stores, fresh & frozen)
a handful pickled red chili peppers
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
salt to taste
vegetable oil for cooking
Thinly slice the beef
Add the beef to a bowl, along with soy sauce, ground ginger, corn starch, oyster sauce, oil, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, sugar, chicken stock/ water.
Mix everything together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Thinly slice the bamboo shoots. Blanch them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain well.
Homemade pickled chili peppers straight out of the pickle jar
Heat a cast iron wok over high heat. Add oil, along with pickled peppers, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns.
Add marinated beef
Stir fry the beef just until they turn colors.
Add bamboo shoots, along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and salt.
Continue stir frying for another couple minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot immediately.
Pickled chili peppers are essential to the dish. They add a surprisingly nice delicate flavor to the beef; spicy, a little bit savory and sour. It well balances the richness of beef flavor. Love it! O(∩_∩)O~