Sunday 25 May 2008

thai bamboo shoot salad

Today is the end of National Vegetarian Week in the UK and Abby from eat the right stuff is hosting a celebration of all things veggie with her event Vegetables, Beautiful Vegetables.

Given that my husband is a vegetarian and I have posted around 80 vegetarian recipes on my blog so far, I thought I should show my support for this event and participate with something interesting.

As a meat eater I often miss meat when it’s omitted from certain dishes and feel some national cuisines lend themselves to vegetarian cooking much more easily than others.

For instance Indian and Italian cooking can easily be vegetarian. In fact I prefer vegetarian Indian dishes over meat and fish ones and Italian cooking has more than enough delectable vegetarian pastas, risottos and other interesting fare to keep even a carnivore sated.

My experience with vegetarian Thai food hasn’t been so positive. Having tasted both sides, I feel that many Thai dishes taste much better when there is meat or seafood involved.

Until I came across this bamboo salad.

It has all the spicy kick, sour tang and bulkiness of a beef or prawn salad, and it can be served in a strictly vegan fashion if required.

Be sure to read my cooking notes after the recipe for tips on subsitutions etc.

Soop Naw Mai ฃุบหน่อไม้  (Thai Bamboo Shoot Salad)

Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2. 
200g young bamboo shoots, shredded
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce (or tamari/light soy)
2 tablespoons ground toasted rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon dried ground chilli (prik khee noo pom)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, white & green sections sliced
Juice of 1 lime
Lettuce leaves, for serving
Coriander and mint, for garnish


1. Heat 2 cups of water to boiling in a large pot. Add the shredded bamboo and bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Drain and set aside to cool.

2. When the bamboo shoots are cool, toss with ground rice, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame seeds and ground chilli pepper.

3. Add the scallions, mint and coriander and combine well.

4. Serve immediately with warm sticky rice on a bed of lettuce and garnished with herbs.

* If you let the salad sit too long after preparation the ground rice will start to become gluggy.
* Vegetarian fish sauce is sold in many Asian grocers and made from fermented soy beans, salt, sugar, chilli and citric acid. You could also use tamari (light soy sauce) with additional salt and even some salted yellow beans and fermented tofu to add the required pungency.
* I use bottled or packaged bamboo shoots. Fresh shoots make take longer to boil.
* If you find the dish is too spicy you can add more toasted rice to counter balance the flavours.
* If you can’t buy ground toasted rice from your local Thai restaurant, you can make it by heating a small frying pan on medium-high heat and adding cooked sticky rice. Toast the rice, adding 1 tablespoon or water at a time to aid in the cooking. Continue to toast the rice until it is golden brown. Remove and grind to coarse powder.




  1. anna, my mouth is watering at the thought of all those wonderful flavours! thank you so much for sharing this with vegetables, beautiful vegetables.

  2. Hi~what a lovely salad!!! Would you please tell me where did you buy the bamboo shoots in SYD?
    I am looking for it...

    1. try an asion supermarket.


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