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Store Bamboo Shoots for Eating In Thailand

Thailand grows the most delicious bamboo in the world. Almost everyone who lives in the Thai countryside has easy access to wild bamboo. So, it’s one of the many free foods that Thai people take advantage of when making dishes such as bamboo shoot curry, fried bamboo shoots with pork, and bamboo shoot soup. Bamboo shoots also taste great just eaten by themselves and dipped in a bit of Thai chili paste or nam jim jao.

What is the best way to store bamboo shoots? Thai folk wisdom teaches several methods, which are still widely followed by villagers in Thailand. They are as follows:

Bamboo Shoots Sliced Storage



You can store bamboo for around 6 months by slicing the bamboo shoots it into thin pieces, stuffing them into a plastic or glass bottle, filling it with water, and then topping it with salt. While many Thais use a leftover plastic water bottle for this method, it is better to use a glass bottle, as the plastic can leech chemicals into the water and bamboo. It’s only a minute amount and not that dangerous, but best to avoid using any plastic for storage purposes if you can.

If you know that you’ll be eating the bamboo within 1-2 months, you can use the same method outlined above but without adding water and salt to the bottle. With this method, you must boil the bamboo first, and make sure to press as many boiled bamboo pieces as possible into the bottle.

Full Bamboo Shoot Storage

Peel the bamboo shoots and wash them thoroughly with water. Steam the peeled shoots for about 30 minutes, and pack them in a bag while they are still hot. Expel any excess air and wrap tight. Using this method, the bamboo shots will stay good for up to a year.

Tin Can Method for Storing Bamboo

This method is called “nòr mái bpéep” (หน่อไม้ปี๊บ) in Thai, which translates to “bamboo shoot can”. You’ll sometimes see these cans of bamboo sold at village markets in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. With this method, you can store bamboo for over a year.

First, heat up the fresh bamboo shoots and peel off the bark. Trim the hard parts, leaving only the edible parts. Clean the tin can and then pack in the bamboo shoots, alternating the ends until the tin is full.

Pour water into the tin can to fully cover the bamboo and bring it to a boil. Wait until all the bamboo shoot bubbles are gone, then add water again and leave it for 30 minutes. Lift the tin can and close the lid tightly while the can is still hot to prevent air from entering.


David Alan