Substitute for Bamboo Shoots | 10 Best Alternatives

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Bamboo shoots are widely used in Asian cooking, both as a vegetable and as a flavoring agent. They have a slightly sweet taste and are crunchy in texture.

While their flavor is compatible with many different dishes, bamboo shoots have a characteristic bitter taste that some people may not enjoy. Nevertheless, if you find fresh bamboo shoots, they are definitely worth trying!

Fresh bamboo shoots can be difficult to find in some parts of the world. If you come by any, you are either farming it yourself, or you know someone who is. The next best thing is to buy canned bamboo shoots, which are widely available in most Asian markets.

Unfortunately, canned bamboo shoots are not as good as the fresh ones. They are blanched before canning, which takes away some of their crunchiness and flavor.

What are bamboo shoots?

Also known as bamboo sprouts, bamboo shoots are the young shoots of certain species of bamboo. They are edible and have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. Bamboo shoots can be eaten raw or cooked, and are commonly used in stir-fries, soups, and curries.

To prepare bamboo shoots, simply wash them well and slice them into thin pieces. Then, add them to your favorite recipe.

Another Food Substitute:

What to do with bamboo shoots

Although they are generally associated with Asian cuisine, bamboo sprouts can be used in a variety of dishes.

Bamboo shoots can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. They can be used as a side dish or an ingredient in soups, stir-fries, and salads.

When selecting bamboo shoots, look for those that are crisp and have a fresh, grassy smell. Avoid those that are yellow or discolored.

Bamboo shoots should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase. Before cooking, fresh shoots should be peeled and the woody center removed. To do this, cut off the top and bottom of the shoot and then peel away the outer layer with a sharp knife. The peeled shoot can then be sliced or diced as desired. cooked bamboo shoots can be served plain or with a dipping sauce.

They can also be added to soups and stir-fries. When adding bamboo shoots to these dishes, it is best to cook them until they are tender but still crisp. overcooking them will make them mushy.

You can also use bamboo sprouts as a substitute for water chestnuts. 

10 substitutes for bamboo shoots

So what are the best substitutes for bamboo shoots? If you are looking for a crunchy vegetable with a similar flavor, water chestnuts are a good option. If you want something with a similar texture but a different flavor, try hearts of palm. Finally, if you are looking to add a bamboo shoots flavor to a dish without using the actual vegetable, try using a few drops of bamboo extract.

Either way, here is a list of all the possible alternatives we came across:

  1. Fresh water chestnuts:

Water chestnuts are a versatile vegetable that can be used in place of bamboo shoots in many dishes. Fresh water chestnuts have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor that is a perfect complement to savory sauces and spicy seasonings. Canned water chestnuts are also a convenient option, and they can often be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. When using canned water chestnuts, be sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to your dish. 

2. Jerusalem artichokes:

Jerusalem artichokes are a type of root vegetable that can be used in place of bamboo shoots in soups and stir-fries. They have a crispy texture and a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with many different seasonings. Jerusalem artichokes can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores. You could also use Chinese artichokes,but they have a more bitter flavor.


Jicama, also known as Mexican yam or Mexican turnip, is a crispy, juicy root vegetable with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. The crunchy texture and neutral flavor of jicama make it a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. When selecting jicama, look for firm, glossy roots with smooth skin. Avoid roots that are bruised or dull in appearance.

To prepare jicama, simply peel away the tough skin with a knife or vegetable peeler. Fresh jicama slices are best enjoyed fresh, but they can also be roasted, grilled, or pureed into soups and sauces.

4. Carrots:

Carrots are a versatile vegetable that can be used in place of bamboo shoots in a variety of dishes. Sliced or julienned carrots make a great stand-in for bamboo shoots in stir-fries and other quick-cooked dishes.

For slow-cooked dishes like soups and stews, simply dice the carrots into small pieces before adding them to the pot.

Carrots can also be used interchangeably with bamboo shoots in recipes for pickled vegetables or vegetable tempura. So next time you’re looking for a substitute for bamboo shoots, reach for some carrots!


Asparagus has a similar flavor and texture to bamboo sprouts, making it a perfect substitution in stir-fries, curries, and soups.

To prep asparagus, simply trim off the tough ends and rinse the spears under cold water. Then, you’re ready to add them to your favorite recipe. Whether you’re substituting asparagus for bamboo shoots or simply looking for a new way to enjoy this delicious vegetable, you’ll surely find plenty of reasons to love it.

6. White cabbage:

When it comes to flavor, white cabbage is a versatile ingredient that can be used in place of bamboo shoots in many Asian-inspired dishes. While the two vegetables have different textures, cabbage has a similar mild taste that won’t overwhelm the other flavors in your dish. Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

In preparation, you’ll want to slice or shred the cabbage into thin strips so that it cooks evenly. If you’re using it as a replacement for bamboo shoots in a stir-fry, add it near the end of cooking so that it retains its crunch.

And if you’re looking for an alternative to bamboo sprouts in soup, simmered cabbage will give your soup a boost of flavor and nutrition.

7. Broccoli:

Broccoli is a widely available vegetable that makes an excellent substitute for bamboo shoots. To prepare broccoli, start by trimming the tough ends off of the broccoli stalk. Then, use a sharp knife or mandoline to slice the stalk into thin pieces. The resulting slices will closely resemble bamboo shoots in both appearance and texture.

When cooked, broccoli maintains a slight crunch, making it an ideal stand-in for bamboo in stir-fries, curries, and other Asian-inspired dishes.

8. Baby corn:

Baby corn can replace bamboo shoots in various dishes. When cooked, the two vegetables have a similar texture, making baby corn a good less chewy option. Baby corn is also less fibrous than bamboo shoots, thus easy on your digestive system.

As far as flavor goes, bamboo shoots tend to be more bitter than baby corn. However, both vegetables are fairly bland on their own and can be easily infused with other flavors. When substituting with baby corn, reduce the cooking time. Baby corn can also be eaten raw in salads and stir-fries.

9. Cucumber root:

Cucumber root is a crunchy, refreshing vegetable that makes an excellent alternative for bamboo shoots in both raw and cooked dishes. When used raw, cucumber root has a similar texture to jicama or summer radishes, making it great for salads or crudités platters.

It can also be pickled or fermented like other cucumbers, providing a delightful crunch to sandwiches and burgers. When cooked, cucumber root’s flavor is reminiscent of its taste in its raw state, but with a more mild and mellow flavor. It is delicious roasted, grilled, or sautéed, and makes a wonderful addition to stir-fries and other Asian-inspired dishes.

10. Hearts of palm:

Hearts of palm can be used in place of bamboo shoots in many dishes. They have a similar texture to bamboo shoots, but with a slightly sweeter flavor. Hearts of palm can be found canned or jarred in most grocery stores, making them a convenient option for busy cooks.

To use them in place of bamboo shoots, simply drain, rinse and then chop them into bite-sized pieces. They can then be added to stir-fries, soups, or curries in the same way that you would use bamboo shoots.

Health benefits of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are a good source of dietary fiber and provide a range of other health benefits, including:

  1. Aiding digestion: Bamboo shoots are a rich source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation.
  2. Regulating blood sugar levels: The fiber in bamboo shoots can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This is especially beneficial for people with diabetes.
  3. Boosting immune function: Bamboo shoots are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is important for immune function.
  4. Reducing inflammation: Bamboo shoots contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  5. Supporting heart health: The fiber and vitamins in bamboo shoots can help support heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  6. Promoting weight loss: The fiber in bamboo shoots can help promote weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer and helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze bamboo shoots?

Yes, you can freeze bamboo shoots. First, blanch the shoots in boiling water for two minutes. Then, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Once they are cool, drain them and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the shoots in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to 5 months.

Is bamboo shoots good for diabetics?

Yes, bamboo shoots are good for diabetics because they contain fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Is bamboo shoots good for high blood pressure?

Yes, bamboo shoots are good for high blood pressure because they contain potassium, which is known to help lower blood pressure.

Final words:

There you go, 10 substitutes for bamboo shoots that you can use in a variety of dishes. So next time you’re looking to add a crunchy, refreshing, and healthy ingredient to your meal, reach for one of these substitutes.

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