While in Yilan, my mom’s oldest and sweetest friend graciously showed us around the city and let us rest at her home. The same home that I think of when I reminisce about past visits. After a huge lunch, she insisted on making us a fresh bamboo dish because she heard about how much David likes the stuff. She is very into eating fresh and natural foods. So, appropriately, she has a little potted garden of string beans, herbs, aloe vera, and even a papaya tree.
The key is using fresh and thick bamboo shoots that are purchased early in the day during prime pick. Steam the shoots so they become soft and easy to cook.
Chop the shoots into small slices about the thickness of a pencil, and prepare aromatics.
Dried shrimp is optional, but it does add a nice fishy flavor to the dish. Make sure to wash them thoroughly first.
We also added dried shitake mushrooms that we soaked, softened and chopped up. Additionally, we chopped up some tiny red chili peppers and ginger.
Heat a pan with as much oil as you prefer, but we tried to use as little as possible. Start by browning the mushrooms and dried shrimp.
Add the bamboo and saute for two minutes.
Add the ginger and peppers.
Add salt to taste, and soften for two more minutes. You can add water if you want to further soften the bamboo.