I love picking up new things from the wet markets and the supermarket; foods that are new to me, I might have seen them or read about them but sometimes I don’t know how to use them at all, I get a kick out of improvising. The other day I found water bamboo for the first time, I had never heard about it before and had to buy it. It’s really tender and not at all as fibrous as normal bamboo. Quite spongy but crisp. Not a whole lot of flavour but I imagine it to be very good stir fried. Mine however ended up in a coconut curry with aubergines and potatoes. Yum! But I was in a hurry and used a jarred Thai curry paste. I do feel quite naughty about that but the curry was nice. Could have done with some chicken perhaps… We had it with steamed rice and some daikon to sooth out the chili heat.
I fried off the curry paste with some extra cumin, ginger and garlic before adding the aubergine and potatoes. I added coconut cream, salt and a little water and let it cook until nearly tender before I added the bamboo.
Bamboo has to be one of the most versatile plants on earth. Used for construction, basic houses, cooking, eating, turned into clothes, home ware and furniture. Bamboo shoots are said to aid weight loss, control bad cholesterol and strengthen the immune system. It also has cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. Bamboo shoots are high in proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber and are low in fat and sugars. They contain vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. Minerals found include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and iron, based on studies made in India and information I have found on the web.
- Thai red curry paste
- water bamboo
- ginger & garlic
- coconut cream