Bamboo shoot Tosani 筍の土佐煮

japanese cake

Spring and early summer are the season for fresh bamboo shoots or takenoko 筍 in Japan but I have never seen fresh takenoko on sale at the grocery store here in the US. So, I have to use the pre-boiled and packaged variety. I have posted few bamboo shoot dishes in the past. This one is called “Tosa-ni” 土佐煮. Tosa is southernmost prefecture in the island of shikoku 四国 which is famous for bonito or katsuo 鰹 and dried and shaven bonito flakes called “katsuo-bushi” 鰹節.  Simmered vegetable especially bamboo shoot in broth made of bonito flakes seasoned with soy sauce is often referred as “Tosa-ni”. I also added additional bonito flakes after the bamboo shoots were cooked and seasoned.

Ingredients: (for two small serving as a drinking snack) and directions:

  1. Bamboo shoot, pre-boiled and vacuum packed (#1). I used only the bottom 1/3 for this dish and the rest was used to make something else.
  2. Bonito broth, I made about 3 cups with two dashi packs with bonito and kelp which is much stronger than usual broth.
  3. I sliced off the bottom 1/3, quartered and sliced into 1/2 inch quarter rounds (#2).
  4. I cooked it in plain boiling water for 3 minutes and drained.
  5. I put them back in a dry pan and added the bonito broth just covering the bamboo shoot (around 1/2 cup).
  6. I added light colored soys sauce (1/2 tbs) and a splash of mirin (or you could omit the mirin).
  7. Simmer with lid on until most of the liquid has evaporated (#3).
  8. I added two small packages (or whatever amount you like) of bonito flakes and mixed to coat. If the moisture is not enough, you could add a splash of the broth or soy sauce depending on the taste of the cooked bonito (I added the broth).

Although I took several shortcuts (not using fresh bamboo shoot and not making broth from freshly shaven bonito flakes), it tasted very good. The bonito flavor combined with the savory saltiness of the soy sauce permeated the bamboo shoot and was further boosted with the additional bonito flakes on the surface. The bamboo shoot was tender but some firmness still remained. This is a perfect small “otoshi” dish to start the evening.

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