Pre-cooking Bamboo Shoots For The First Time

Bamboo Shoots: Ready for pre-cooking

When you think of the words “bamboo” and “Japan”, what are the things you imagine first? I’d guess it would be “Kaguya-hime no Monogatari” (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) or the famous bamboo forest in Sagano, Kyoto (usually featured on travel guide books).

In Japan, I often see bamboo trees (one reason probably because I live in the rural area). During spring, you can find raw bamboo shoots on display at supermarkets. Just the other day, I got one bag of bamboo shoots from work for free! At first I was hesitant to take it since it requires pre-cooking which can be a hassle. But I really like bamboo shoots plus it’s free, so I took the challenge.

I immediately checked on Cookpad website for a simple recipe on pre-cooking bamboo shoots.

Ingredients

– raw bamboo shoots
– water
– rice bran or water from rinsing rice
– dried chili pepper

In Japan, you can get rice bran for free at rice polishing stations.

How to Pre-cook Bamboo Shoots

Remove the outer layers.

Wash off the dirt and cut the tip in diagonal just like in the picture below. Cut through the outer layer to peel off easily. Make sure not to cut too deep.

Bamboo Shoots: Cut-off the tip
It will look like this.

Bamboo Shoots: Peeled off

Boil with rice bran for about 1 hour until tender.

Boil water in a pot and add the rice bran (kome-nuka in Japanese), chili and bamboo shoots.

Bamboo Shoots: Add rice bran

Bamboo Shoots: Add dried chili pepper

Cook for 1 hour or until it’s tender. I used pressure cooker for faster cooking (takes about 30 minutes). After boiling, turn off the heat and leave the bamboo shoots still in water until it’s cooled down.

Bamboo Shoots: Cooling down

Keep in a closed container with water.

Wash the bamboo shoots clean and keep in a closed container with water. Replace water once a day, although it’s best to consume it immediately.

Recipe suggestions

Now, we are done with pre-cooking. You can use this pre-cooked bamboo shoots in different recipes. I think the common recipe here in Japan for this is to cook with rice called “takenoko-gohan.” It is usually seasoned with soy sauce, rice wine and dashi. Another recipe would be tempura.

Bamboo Shoots: Tempura (deep-fried)

Deep-fried bamboo shoots and chicken

By the way, you can also have the tip of the bamboo shoots with just soy sauce. I did tried it and not bad at all. Have you tried eating bamboo shoots? How was it cooked or prepared? Did you like it? Share it to us!

Find Cheap Hotels In Japan

hotel_image

Howdy. It’s Mr. Wada on duty. Mrs. Wada and I like traveling, but we aren’t into spending too much on accommodation. We are like semi-backpackers. You know, just need a place to hit the hay. Unlikely in the western countries, there aren’t many youth hostels like YMCA or backpackers hotels, but no worries, there are still cheap hotels in japan.

Related links

Capsule Hotel with Hot Spring Bath in Kobe, Japan

How to Change PC Language From Japanese to English

How To Get Free Wi-Fi In Japan

It is not only for backpackers, it might be also a good option in case you miss the last train.

cheap hotels in japan lasttrain

(Photo credit: Nobuya Sato)

Types of Accommodations

Cheap hotels in japan though, there are different types. Let’s see what they are like.

Capsule Hotels (3,000 JPY ~)

It’s sorta modern stuff. I’d pictured it quite futuristic for the first time. Thought of it like we’d get into the SF-ish capsule and our bodies would be kept frozen. Reality is… you should check it with your own eyes.

As it is called, we sleep in a “capsule.” The fee normally includes shower, sometimes sauna and breakfast .

cheap hotels in japan Cheap Hotel

(Photo credit: Tobin)

Pros:
– Located in central.
– Most importantly it’s so much exciting!

Cons:
– Not much privacy (since we sleep in a capsule).
– The capsule isn’t as comfortable as bed is.

Note: You may not fit into the capsule (if you are tall).

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Excitementico_grade5_5

Guest Houses/Backpackers Hotels (2,000 JPY ~)

It is mostly a dormitory-type house. If you are more into meeting new people, this might be the best place. Backpackers from all over the world gather and have fun!

cheap hotels in japan guesthouse

(Photo credit: Richard, enjoy my life!)

Pros:
– There will be opportunities for meeting new people (it’s priceless!).

Cons:
– It tends to be busy.
– Not much privacy (unless you get a private room).

Note: Some places have curfew. You should check about this before booking (you don’t want to be locked out).

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Excitementico_grade5_4

Internet Cafe (1,700 JPY ~)

This has been the most popular place for emergency. Well, it is supposed to be where we use the internet and stuff as it is called but many people also stay overnight.

Not as bad as you may think it would be. The cost varies on duration of your stay. One I know of costs 1,700 yen for 6 hours (with drink bar like at Family Restaurants).

Since we sleep on the reclining chairs, I wouldn’t call it a hotel but it’s still one of the places where we can get some sleep.

cheap hotels in japan internetcafe

(Photo credit: Gavin Anderson)

Pros:
– No reservation required (in other words we can’t reserve).
– Some places offer private rooms, so we could actually have a sleep with more privacy (regular seats are separated just by partitions).

Cons:
– In general it doesn’t accept reservations, so it can be really for emergency or possibly you would have to look around).

Costico_grade5_4
Excitementico_grade5_2

 

Extra

Love Hotels (5,000 JPY ~)

This would be the last option for me (only if none of the above is available). Though you still wouldn’t want to go in alone (you may be rejected for some reason).

cheap hotels in japan lovehotel

(Photo credit: mliu92)

So Where To Find Cheap Hotels?

Here are some references that you possibly can find capsule hotels or guest houses, etc. Hope it will help.

References:
capsuleinn.com | Cheap, Clean, Good Access Capsule Hotels
Hostel listing in Japan Guesthouse map in JapanRakuten Travel – Get the best deals on Japanese Hotels and Ryokans

Lastly

Aside from being in such a situation like missing the last train, it would be still fun to try stuff like capsule hotels at least once during your stay. Whether it turns good or bad, why not make it a part of your adventure! See you around!