What is the best way to remove or alleviate the sour, briny taste of canned bamboo shoots? I've tried soaking in cold water for several hours (changed water every hour). I've added salt one time, but found it to be too salty and still sour after cooking. This can't be the natural taste of bamboo because I've tried fresh ones before.

  • Thanks for all the answers. I'm certain I've seen frozen bamboo before. I'll just have to go that route. The fresh ones were a lucky delight when I visited a friend in Michigan. – Chi Leung Feb 26 '15 at 2:07

I don't think it's really achievable with most of the canned product I've seen. The best I've accomplished is to slightly mask the flavor using tricks like adding sugar to the dish, which only works for certain categories of foods (clay pot braises, etc.)

I've found better-quality water-packed plastic sealed pouches that are only slightly acidic, but these can be quite expensive ($3-5 for what is probably only 1/3-1/2 lb), and my nearby Japanese market has ones which are only slightly briny in their produce section. My acquaintance who supplies mushrooms and some other produce and herbs to restaurants advised to buy frozen bamboo shoots for best results, although they are somewhat hard to find in consumer-sized packages; he caters mostly to the restaurant trade.

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    I agree: it's not really possible to take a brined product and make it taste as if it weren't brined. It's an irreversible process. Canning brines are sour by design, so if the OP wants non sour bamboo, he shouldn't buy canned. – rumtscho Feb 23 '15 at 19:05

I know this is not perhaps the answer you were looking for, but if fresh bamboo is hard to come by, and canned bamboo isn't what you want either, try using asparagus as a substitute. It has very much the same texture as bamboo shoots when it is not over done. If stir fry or fried rice, just put it in fresh before hardier greens like broccoli, otherwise if you want to cook it first, put it in a skillet covered with cold water and bring just to a boil and then add to your dish.

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