Sharing the Panda’s love for Bamboo Shoots

If you have been following this blog, you will remember P’Pew, my Thai childhood friend who became a dietitian. She has given me another recipe, this time for braised bamboo shoots with pork.

Braised bamboo shoots (the dried ones) with pork. My mum would use pork belly. Formerly you had to soak the bamboo for days to soften them. Cut/slice and then boil again before cooking. Now you can find them in supermarkets all soft and ready to cook.”

P’Pew

Ingredients

1)15-20 pieces of peppercorn
2) 2 cloves garlic
3) 1-2 small coriander roots with a bit of stem
4) 100-150gm pork (Note chicken can be substituted for pork)
5) 350-400 gm ready-to-cook bamboo shoots

Cooking instructions

(For serving four pax)

  1. Pound the peppercorn, garlic and coriander roots and stem together till fine
  2. Cook the pounded peppercorn, garlic and coriander in a little oil on low heat till fragrant
  3. Add palm/brown sugar till melted
  4. Stir in pork (or chicken)
  5. Add some water so that it doesn’t stick to the pan
  6. Add the bamboo shoots.
  7. Add in enough water to cover the mixture
  8. Bring to boil
  9. Season with salt, light and dark soy sauce for colour and taste
    (Taste should be a nice balance of salty and sweet)
  10. Sear one star anise and cinnamon stick (about 2cmx1cm) to release the aromatic oils. Put these into the simmering dish.
  11. Simmer till 1/3 of the liquid has evaporated, which is when it is ready to be served

Like most home-cooking, the amount of ingredients used is very flexible. The bowl used in the photo was a pyrex dish about 6″wide and 3″deep

P’Pew’s mother, Aunty Chor or Pa Chor (in Thai) left behind a home-cooking legacy. My mother often gives me cooking tips which she learnt from Pa Chor, who had a passion for cooking as well as a high level of skill. Just this week my mother was looking for coriander roots in the supermarket. She said that coriander roots are essential in Thai cooking for marinating meat. It is something she learnt from Pa Chor.

Recently, I came across an article by Clarissa Oon entitled The decline of home-cooking, which was first published in The Straits Times on April 7, 2013. The article started off with the following:

One of the biggest responsibilities that befall a parent, from the moment your young ‘uns learn the meanings of the words “family” and “home”, is to create the little memories and rituals associated with the domestic sanctum.

Food plays a huge part in this, and not just the festive fare associated with traditional holidays, but also the nightly meal around the dinner table.”

I couldn’t agree more. There has indeed been a decline in home-cooking, but there has also been a rise in young people taking an interest in cooking. During the June school holidays last year and this year, I saw how very young girls competed in online cooking competitions (which reminded me of the Junior Masterchef series). They planned their menus, did their grocery shopping and cooked a whole meal within an hour. Quite an achievement!

P’Pew and P’Pad have inherited a cooking legacy from their mother, but it is a family legacy which has gone beyond the family and has benefitted many others, including me.

“The good is diffusive”, as suggested by Plato. Good home-cooking should also be diffusive, as it is worth sharing. A big thanks to P’Pew and P’Pad for sharing their home-cooking recipes with us.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 1 August 2021

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