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How to dig and cook takekono (bamboo shoots)

How to dig and cook Takenoko


Takenoko (たけのこ) is bamboo shoot. In Japanese cuisine, takenoko is used to mix with rice, miso soup, salad and simplly boiled ones.

Misa, long-time member of YokosoNews, invited the crew, Sarah, Saori, Katz and Misa's old co-workers' family, to the bamboo forest of her family in her hometown, Agui, Aichi to dig the takenoko on Saturday, April 7, 2012.


This is how-to dig takenoko and boil takenoko. (You should boil takenoko soon after you dig them.)

* Bamboo forest is usually someone's private property. You need to find a friend who own it, or find a tour which is widely available among Japanese travel agency.


Tricks of digging takenokos

Items to prepare

  • Hoe (kuwa in Japanese)
  • Clothes & shoes that can get dirty and easy to move
  • Healthy back


How to dig takenoko

1. Walk around bamboo forest. Use your feet and search the firm spots.

2. Mark the spots (usually use a tree brunch)

3. Try to digg a little to find the tip of the takenoko. (Yellow tip is believed to be better taste than greener one)

4. Once you find the tip of the takenoko, start digging around using hoe (kuwa)

5. Find out the direction which way takenoko is growing to

6. Dig around the takenoko. Dig deeper until you start seeing whiter skin

7. Find out the angle of takenoko. Takenoko always angle to one direction.

8. Strike hoe (kuwa) the takenoko from inner angle of takenoko. Use the law of the lever. Lift up takenoko.



How to boil takenoko

You can use takenoko like any other root vegetable. You can mix with rice, salad soup. But first, you need to boil the takenoko as soon as possible. Otherwise the takenoko start getting bitters

Items to prepare

  • takenoko
  • big pots that all takenokos can fits in
  • rice bran (kome nuka / こめぬか in Japanese), and/or gang pepper (shichimi togarashi / 七味唐辛子)
Rice bran (kome nuka)

How to boil takenoko

1. Put water into the pots that can cover takenaoko

2. Boil the water

3. Put takenoko in it

4. [Option but recommended] Put rice bran (kome nuka) and/or gang papper init

5. Boilt it for 20 min


Takenoko doesn't really have taste much. It's similar to renkon.

Enjoy the delicious takenoko dish.


Special thanks to Inaba family for letting us experience fun moment! 

Katz Ueno
As the Editor-in-chief & Producer of YokosoNews, Katz wants to show Japan to the rest of the world. Read more »