I am in a bamboo forest. This is a piece of land that my friend owns. and I love bamboo so I’m so excited. What we’re here for today, is to get some bamboo shoots. Bamboos, called 竹 (take) in Japanese, are used as building materials, such as timber, pipes, ropes, etc. but bamboo shoots, or 竹の子 (takenoko) – child of bamboo These small brown ones you see here. are a major food source playing a big role in Japanese cooking. Right now is bamboo shoot season. So you can see on the ground there are a bunch of tiny bamboo shoots! Look at all that. but these babies get really big like this. then they get older. and they become tall bamboo trees. Isn’t this crazy? This is the bamboo root? Look at these roots, there are so many of them. They’re so small! and I’ve got Madoka here with me! She’s taking some footage of her own. It’s really wet, it’s like really moist. It’s really soft. (sugoi yawarakai) They’re so fuzzy and soft. Look, little baby hairs. Isn’t this amazing. How interesting. I wonder why it’s got hairs. It’s so hairy, but it becomes so smooth. See, these start peeling off. So, what I’d really like to do one of these days is make my own nagash-somen So they crack these bamboos in half and you get like a slide, like a water slide. and the you pour water into it and slide somen down it then you grab it at the end and eat it. It’s called nagashi somen. They’ve got restaurants that have it but I want to make my own one of these days. That’d be so cool! We’re going to pick some bamboos dig them out and eat them This is going to be so exciting! I’ve never done that before. You buy them at the store but I’ve never dug out my own bamboo shoot and cooked it. This is what they look like at the grocery store. You can buy a large chunk or buy them sliced or cut like this. depends on what you’re cooking. We’re going to dig one this big? You want one with a wide bottom. We normally dig shorter ones but we’re a bit late in the season, so they’re this big. We won’t be eating the bottom part. There are a ton of tiny roots around it. It’s huge! Wow! This is the right way to dig them. You want to find a bamboo shoot that has a nice, round, big butt. a bootylicious bamboo and then you’re going to take this really heavy tool and dig it out. This is heavy. It’s heavy, huh? Yeah, it’s heavy. Is it hard (as in solid)? I’m starting to sweat already One more time! One more? Oh, it ripped. Yeah, see how it’s not a clean cut? Yeah, it’s completely different than the other one. bad example! We’ll see if Madoka can do it. It’s heavy! The poor baby! That was good! You’ve got it. You’ve got it. No, you don’t. You can do it! You got it! / I got it! You got the bamboo! Wow, that was a lot of work! Smells like grass. This smell reminds me of summer. Reminds me of summer when all of the lawns around the neighborhood are freshly mowed We don’t know what the right way is to peel the bamboos. but we’re going to give it a shot. This feels cool! Does it? This way will take you about 30 minutes. If you try to peel 30 of them like this you’re going to get sick of it. We used to do it like this One is fine, but I wouldn’t want to peel a bunch like this. I’d probably be like “I want to eat it already!” Alright, let’s do it then! Now we’re going to learn the right way to peel bamboos. Wow, they’re easy to cut. It kind of looks like an onion. It looks completely like an onion. On a cutting board Oh! If you do it like that You just cut it in half! Smart! Wow! That looks delicious! It’s my first time seeing it like this! me too! and then you just tear the outer layers off. That’s right! That makes sense! That looks so cool! Such a clean tear! This is fun! This is more fun than the other way. Right? It’s really triangular. Looks like a temple. Looks like a temple they’d have in Thailand. Alright, I’m going to eat this! raw bamboo shooot! No, don’t do it. Don’t! It’s bitter. It’s not bitter at all! It’s totally edible! Oh, the aftertaste is a little bitter. I told you it’s bitter! The bitterness comes after. I’ve never done anything like this. But digging them up takes some getting used to. We’re cooking the bamboo shoots! boiling them will get rid of the bitter after taste. So you take this and you’re going to put miso and mayonnaise on it. Wow, that’s a lot. This is new. Is it good? It’s good! mayonnaise and miso (and some Japanese pepper leaves) Oh, it’s a bit burnt on this side. It’s good a little burnt. hot, hot, hot It’s good! It’s so good! It’s delicious. The bitterness is all gone. It’s good with miso. Freshly harvested bamboo shoots are so good. Really good. It’d be good with soy sauce too. We took a rather large bamboo shoot and made some bowls out of them. It looks awesome. We picked up some sannsho on our way here. This is Japanese pepper. It’s written … sann is mountain and shou is pepper. It’s like wild pepper. Nice. Fabulous. If we had a saw we could have made cups. Next year, we’ll bring a saw. cups for our tea. What an awesome idea! takenoko gohan (rice) in a bamboo shoot! This makes it look even more delicious. It’s really good! It’s not too strongly flavored. but it’s very gentle and you can enjoy the texture of the bamboo There are a bunch of thinly cut bamboo shoots in it. We’ve got some meat in a bamboo plate. How cool is that? and I’ve got the bamboo forest behind me. Such a great way to spend the day off. It’s actually Showa Day today. That’s why Madoka has the day off from work Delicious! The camera is really close… I like how bamboos look, but I also like how they sound. you could make an instrument. bamboo band! like xylophone? Yeah, like a xylophone. You could make music just by drumming on different bamboos. a bamboo xylophone! Have a jam session with Madoka. Madoka, let’s jam! lol We’re going to play some bamboo music. What the heck was that? I see potential. Thank you guys for watching. Hope you enjoyed our day off at the bamboo forest. Alright guys, see you later!