On my last trip to Tokyo, we hit up a tiny place known for its spicy tonkotsu ramen, those famous skinny noodles topped with a hearty pork bone broth. The guys behind the counter shouted a counting rhyme as they deftly assembled each element of each serving, and when my teeming bowl appeared before me, I was thrilled to see a heaping pile of seasoned bamboo shoots atop the noodles. It's Spring, which means that the crunchy shoots are once again in season, and I can't wait to simmer my own batch for some seasonal stir-fries and soups.
Bamboozled by this Asian ingredient? Keep reading to learn more.