Japanese scientists recently discovered that bamboo shoots contain anti-cancer agents eliminating free radicals. The organic market in Kamakura is where I found this incredible Bamboo shoot. This shoot’s price was JPY 3.500 – ouch!

A traditional forest vegetable in China for more than 2,500 years, bamboo shoots are not only delicious but are also rich in nutrients, and rank among the five most popular healthcare foods in the world. In Japan, the bamboo shoot is called the King of Forest Vegetables.

In April, bamboo shoots, called “Take-no-ko” become available across Japan. They are a symbols of the season, a part of the “rite of Spring” and are at their best in late April and May.

The book of Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), writes, “it’s slightly cold, sweet, non-toxic, and it quenches thirst, benefits the liquid circulatory system, supplements Qi, and can be served as a daily dish.”

The main nutrients in bamboo are protein, amino acid, fat, sugar and inorganic salt and contain rich essential fatty acids with a water content over 90%.