I recently tried to make a soup recipe that called for bamboo shoots. I found some canned shoots from a local Asian supermarket and attempted to use those---but they were awful. They had a bitter, metallic taste from the can, and no other discernible flavor. I'm pretty sure that's not what bamboo shoots are supposed to taste like, but how can I find good ones?

I'm not asking for specific shopping recommendations, but more general advice.

  • Do frozen bamboo shoots exist? Are they better than canned?
  • Am I likely to find fresh bamboo shoots at the Asian market if I ask?
  • Is there some other recommendation for finding a good brand that I can use?
  • 3
    I sound like the can was faulty. Canned bamboo is normally very nice and sort of a cross of corn and nuts, and not metallic
    – TFD
    Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 7:10
  • @TFD, good to know. I have another can of these to try, but if they're also bad I'll have to try a different brand. Is there any particular type that you've had luck with? Commented Nov 5, 2012 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


Fresh bamboo shoots are available at Asian markets but the quality control of those can vary greatly by market and turnaround (if you have a "reputable" one nearby like a Ranch99 I'd check them out). They tend to be more tender and sweet than canned bamboo shoots. It's worth a shot, though. Ideally you'd be able to eat them straight without cooking.

However, in most general cases, I agree with TFD's comment.


Canned bamboo shoots are NOTHING like fresh ones. But they should not have been awful, metallic. Try another brand.

Frozen bamboo shoots are also available in many Asian markets. Not as good as fresh, but better than canned. If you are unlucky enough to live where there are no Asian markets (I tried to get BEAN SPROUTS in Bensalem, PA and everybody looked at me like I was nuts, so forget that place), canned ones will have to do but there are some dishes for which they won't work (Braised Bamboo Shoots, for one).

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