Young bamboo shoots stuffed with pork and ginger leaf

Young bamboo shoots stuffed with pork and ginger leaf

Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Stuart Scott

The food at Kengtung’s local markets was like a long banquet: rows of tables were filled with all manner of dishes, ranging from small snacks to colourful curry pastes and dips, to main meals ready-cooked and packaged. I visited during monsoon season, when bamboo grows abundantly, and one unusual-looking dish I really liked was shredded young bamboo shoots, stu†ffed with pork and ‡flash-fried. Bamboo is such a versatile plant, and a very sustainable one too. It can grow up to one metre (three feet) overnight, and the fresh shoots are absolutely delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
2 small fresh young bamboo shoots, tough outer layer discarded
100g minced pork
1 green chilli, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 ginger leaves, finely sliced, optional
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
400g glutinous rice, soaked in cold water overnight, (see note)


  1. Place the bamboo shoots in a saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for 1 ‹hour, or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Lay the bamboo shoots on a chopping board. Hold the thick end of one shoot with one hand. With your other hand, quickly run two toothpicks down the shoot, starting 1‹cm from the thick end, down to the tip, creating fine thin shreds. Repeat with the other shoot.
  3. Place the pork, chillies, garlic and a pinch of sea salt on a large chopping board and pile into a mound. Using two sharp knives or cleavers, mince all these ingredients together.
  4. Place one heaped tablespoon of the pork filling in the middle of one bamboo shoot. Sprinkle some ginger leaf on top, then close up the parcel, securing it with bamboo rope or kitchen string. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Half-fill a medium-sized wok with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Add the bamboo shoots one at a time and deep-fry for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp. Drain brie‡fly on paper towels.
  6. Cut the bamboo shoots in half and serve with sticky rice.


  • To make the sticky rice, drain and rinse the soaked rice in cold water three times. Pour water into the bottom of your steamer and line the steaming section with muslin. Place the rinsed rice on the cloth, cover with the lid and set on the stovetop over high heat. Steam for 15 …minutes, then †flip the rice over. Cook for another 5–15…minutes, or until the rice becomes translucent; take a small bite to check it is soft and chewy. (Sticky rice generally takes about 20–30 minutes of steaming all up.)
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