Welcome to Fruity Friday where I am showcasing one of my favourites and a very versatile plant and that is the Bamboo…
Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…
There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.
Bamboo is one of the most iconic plants, with some species growing over thirty metres in height, while other species have culms that can hold more weight than steel! That is why you can see bamboo stems used in construction work all over the country. Thai workers rely on its strength to build houses, apartment buildings, hotels, shopping malls and more.
Bamboo shoots are also very nice eaten…Bamboo shoots (no mai) are used as the main ingredient in a variety of traditional Thai dishes, they can be cooked, pickled, and eaten raw. Bamboo shoots have a high amount of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.
See the little shoot peeking its head above the ground this is what we look for and when peeled they look like the second image…Always available year-round on the markets a very healthy vegetable which is a staple of the Thai diet…
Bamboo is also the fastest-growing plant in the world, the record holder is bamboo that was measured to grow 121 cm in 24 hours! …It really is an all-around wonder plant…
Although many of the plants look like a tree it actually belongs to the group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae.
A well-known phenomenon of this versatile plant is its flowering — a spectacular sight that is seen once in every 40-50 years — after which the plant dies.
Although the flowering provides an abundant supply of bamboo fruits, it brings in uninvited guests — the rush of rats. What’s in the fruit that makes it a favourite among these rodents? A study primarily by researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI), Kerala, tries to answer.
After blossom, flowers produce fruit (called “bamboo rice” in parts of India and China). Bamboo Rice, also known as Mulayari is actually the seed of a dying bamboo shoot that is produced at the end of its life span. … The reason this rice is commonly not available is that it takes many years for an aged plant to flower from which this short-grain rice is extracted.
It is cooked like any other variety of rice and has a very sweet taste. The difference lies in its texture once cooked. It is chewy and moist and is often used to make khichdi. Khichdi is a healthy Indian dish made with rice and moong lentils. Various other ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), cumin seeds, ginger and asafoetida are optionally used depending on the preferences. This simple and humble dish is the first food for babies and people recovering from sickness.
The recipe for today is a Chicken Curry with bamboo shoots…
- 500 gm boneless, skinless Chicken Thigh Meat cut into cubes
- 1-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup bamboo shoots cut into thin strips…canned ones are fine
- 2 – 3 Thai Chillies
- 1 cup Thai Sweet Basil…Horapa
- 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 2 tsp Coconut Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Heat half the coconut milk in a wok or pan, then stir in the curry. Cook it on low heat until it is thick and well blended.
Add the chicken meat and fry it in the curry for about 5 minutes, then add the other half of the coconut milk.
Add the bamboo shoots, red chillies, and pieces of kaffir lime leaf. Cook for 10 minutes, then let it cool down slightly and stir in the basil and serve.
This curry is quick to cook and delicious,
Bamboo …can be sliced and boiled, sautéed or braised and served as an accompaniment to meat and fish. They can be slow-cooked with other vegetables or stir-fried. The crunchy texture of young, tender bamboo shoots makes them a great choice served as an hors d’oeuvre or stand-alone vegetable.
Healthwise bamboo is a powerhouse of proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and minerals. These shoots are very low on fat and sugar making it an ideal snack for diabetics. The presence of fibre in large quantities known as nutraceuticals helps in dealing with gut issues.
Thank you very much for reading this post…if you have already cooked with bamboo then you know how lovely it is and if you haven’t and get the chance to try it…Enjoy it is lovely…