This is simmered fresh bamboo shoot, takenoko no nimono. I cooked the top tender and the better looking part of the root in shoyu and mirin flavored dashi (Japanese fish stock) broth. No oil
and no spices are used. What you taste in this dish is the natural flavor of bamboo shoot. Preserving and enhanching natural food flavors is a fundamental goal of Japanese cooking. Like other early spring vegetables, bamboo shoot has pleasant bitterness and the texture is very crispy (even after cooking more than 2 hours!). When my mother served this dish every spring she told us that bitter vegetables remove toxins that have accumulated in our bodies during the cold winter time. Simmered bamboo shoot served in Japanese style is always accompanied by wakame seaweed. The principle reason is that each vegetable compensate each other’s nutritional deficiency. I garnished my bamboo shoot dish with chervil, because I could not find kinome (young leaf of sansho tree). Kinome is a highly aromatic leaf and in Japan it signals the arrival of spring. At the beginning of spring you will see many dishes garnished wiht this prized herb.