Recipe from Spoonful Chinese Cooking Instructor Cai Li
Bamboo shoots are always a culinary delicacy in Asia, especially in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Freshly dug bamboo shoots are seasonal and are appreciated by people of that particular region. Yet easily accessible dried bamboo shoots have a meaty quality and are incredibly delicious. It has a chewy-tenderness and pleasant sweetness that’s not found in fresh or canned bamboo.
- 250g dried bamboo shoots 笋干 (it will turn into about 750g after rehydration. You would need half of the 750g to cook for this recipe.)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon rock sugar冰糖
- 250g pork belly 五花肉, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
- 2-3 slices ginger 姜片
- 2 and ½ tablespoons light soy sauce生抽酱油
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce老抽酱油
- 3-4 dried red chili (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 sprigs Chinese parsley 芹菜, roughly chopped
- The step one – let’s get dried bamboo shoots rehydrated. Soak dried bamboo shoots in water in room temperature for 24 hour. If your house is too warm, just leave them in the fridge. Rinse rehydrated bamboo shoots a few times. Place them in a big pot of water and cook for about 5-10 minutes after the water has boiled. Use a chopstick to poke the bamboo shoots. If the chopstick can go through, it means that bamboo shoots are properly rehydrated.
- This is how rehydrated bamboo shoots look like now. Remember that 250g dried bamboo shoots will turn into about 750g after rehydration. In this recipe, we will only use half of the 750g. The other half can be stored in the fridge or freezer for future use.
- Cut the pork into bite size. Slice the bamboo shoots into strips as thin as you could handle with knife.
- Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add into rock sugar and cook over low-medium heat for about 3-4 minutes till sugar melted and caramelized. Add into pork belly. Fry for a few minutes till meat turn white. Add ginger slices and cook for 1 minute. Pour into cooking wine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add into light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn to medium heat. Cook till pork is nicely browned. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Stir into bamboo strips. Add dried chili – this is optional if you do not care for spicy taste. Bring it to a boil. Then turn to low heat. Cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes till bamboo shoots are soft to your taste. Stir a few times to avoid burning on the bottom. Stir into sliced Chinese parsley and cook for another 2 minutes before serving.
Cai Li Blakeman
Cai Li Blakeman works for Spoonful as the Chinese Cooking instructor. Cai Li was born and raised in China and has lived in Beijing, Washington DC and Singapore. She received her culinary training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2014. She is also a food consultant and blogger. She shares easy recipes and stories on homemade Chinese and Asian food on the Facebook page #sentosadough and her blog of www.lets-playdough.com.
Prior to pursuing her passion for cooking and culinary education, she was a PR and Communications professional and had held management positions in global firms including United Technologies Corporation (UTC), NEC, Edelman, Johnson Controls and Kimberly-Clark.