When I cook at home, I try to let two contradictory principles guide me: allegiance to a favored set of base ingredients, and a desire for culinary adventure. After all, the joy of food is in discovering new flavors and effectively exploring the world with little other than your taste buds. But in one’s own kitchen, food is also a comfort, and it’s nice to know what you have, what you love, and what your body needs. So the challenge of good home cooking is to never completely abandon your comfort zone, but never get bored either.
That can certainly be a challenge, since culinary adventure often means playing around with ingredients you aren’t familiar with. But discovering a new food combination can be a delightful experience. It’s a lot like discovering the soft feel and superb absorbency of bamboo towels for the first time. Even if you were standing in a grove of bamboo, you’d probably never guess that it could make such a thing.
Luckily, when it comes to discovering new food, there are now tools out there to help take the guesswork out of combining the food you know with the food you want to know. So I asked Gregory Willis to create a unique recipe for me, starting with nothing but bamboo.
Gregory is the founder of Senspire, a software company responsible for Flavor Studio, which aids chefs and food product designers in the creation of new recipes by cross referencing chosen ingredients with hundreds of thousands of existing recipes in order to find compatible flavors.
After typing Green Earth News’s favorite ingredient into Flavor Studio, Gregory came up with this delicious and completely original Asian bamboo shoot and mushroom salad. Be among the first to make and enjoy it:
1 ½ cups bamboo shoots (drained, split lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick)
¾ cup celery (sliced across ¼ inch thick)
6 oz mushrooms (white/brown, quartered)
2 each green onions (sliced across into ¼ thick rings)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ginger, dried
Heat a nonstick sauté pan on high heat, add vegetable oil. When oil begins to smoke add chopped mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally until lightly brown. Remove mushrooms from pan and allow to cool.
Make dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour for the flavors to combine.
Be sure to visit Green Earth News Bamboo Flavors for more yummy recipes using bamboo!