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Cooking With Bamboo

Bamboo is frequently thought of when it comes to fashionable new flooring or sturdy building materials. But bamboo is also a contender when it comes to equipping the kitchen. From kitchenware, to edible shoots, bamboo is a part of culinary culture as much as it is with agriculture or architecture.

Bamboo Kitchenware

Bamboo kitchenware is becoming more in demand as people discover the virtues of the material. The natural finish of bamboo kitchenware is good for different uses, depending on the utensil being utilized. Bamboo cutting boards are becoming very popular because they do not dull knives as quickly as hardwood cutting boards do. Bamboo cutting boards are also sturdy enough that when scratched and marked, they can be sanded down and refinished to look new again.

Bamboo utensils are also becoming a coveted addition to wedding gift lists. These utensils are unique because unlike many other silicone, plastic, or metal utensils, ones made of bamboo do not scratch the surface of expensive non-stick cookware. Bamboo utensils are also excellent for cooking because they do not conduct heat very well. This means that you won't burn your hand on the handle, even if you leave it in the pot you are using. Finally, bamboo utensils are very versatile. There are all kinds of utensils that you can make out of bamboo that work as well as traditional materials.

Some utensils that are frequently made out of bamboo include:

  • Plates
  • Cutlery (knives, spoons, forks)
  • Cutting boards
  • Utensils for cooking like spoons and spatulas
  • Chopsticks
  • Steaming baskets
  • Tea strainers
  • Skimming spiders
  • Rolling pins
  • Spice racks
  • Salt and pepper shakers

All of these utensils have the same strength and environmentally friendly properties as other objects made of bamboo. But fully mature bamboo isn't the only thing used in the kitchen. Young bamboo, called bamboo shoots, is a food staple of some countries in the world.

Bamboo Shoots

Eaten for centuries in many parts of the world, bamboo shoots are another aspect of cooking with bamboo. These plants are the bamboo that has been harvested within two weeks of sprouting, leaving them less than a foot tall. Rather bitter when raw, they are still crisp and tender and bamboo has a flavor much like corn. Bamboo shoots are becoming very much in demand in health food restaurants, mostly because bamboo shoots are very healthy. They have very little fat or cholesterol, and are a good source of fiber and potassium. According to Washington State University research, one serving of bamboo shoots is equal to 10% of the daily fiber a person needs in their diet.

The use of bamboo is on the rise, especially within the realm of the culinary arts. Whether it is the nutritious taste of bamboo shoots, or the organic but simply utilitarian kitchenware mentioned above, bamboo certainly has as much a place in the kitchen as it does in construction and gardening.

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