Menma is a popular Japanese condiment that is both crunchy and flavorful.
It’s made from lactate-fermented bamboo shoots and is commonly used as a ramen noodle topping.
In this post, you’ll learn everything there is to know about Menma food and how to make Menma for Ramen in under 15 minutes.
WHAT IS MENMA?
Menma (or) is the Japanese word for fermented bamboo shoots that have been dried prior to fermentation.
It originated in China and is also known as Shinachiku (). Menma is also known as Pickled Bamboo Shoots, Seasoned Bamboo Shoots, and Preserved Japanese Bamboo Shoots.
Menma bamboo shoots are traditionally seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil, and other ingredients.
It is then sun-dried before the fermentation process begins. The traditional menma is very flavorful, but it takes a long time and a lot of effort to make.
My version foregoes the lengthy drying and fermenting process in favor of a quick and easy homemade menma that’s still flavorful!
ARE BAMBOO SHOOTS EDIBLE?
This is a very strange substance for many people in the Western world. Many people may cultivate bamboo plants indoors for ornamental purposes.
Asians, on the other hand, have been consuming it for a very long time. If you’ve never had these soft and crispy sprouts before, you might be wondering what they taste like.
We can say they have a corn flavor to them. When cooked, the shoots can be rather sweet. This delicacy is typically used fresh, dried, or canned in cooking.
Surprisingly, this “strange” ingredient is widely available, as canned and packaged versions can be found on the shelves of many big name stores. It is, however, more difficult to find it fresh.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES
- Bamboo Shoots: Canned bamboo shoots can be found in most Asian grocery stores. I avoid pre-cut bamboo shoots because I find them to be too soft. You can also buy it on Amazon, and this is the brand I used in this recipe.
- Sesame Oil: It gives the dish an authentic nutty flavor. In a pinch, vegetable oil can be substituted.
- Garlic: For the best flavor, use fresh garlic.
- Chicken Bouillon Powder: It enhances the flavor of the bamboo shoot. It’s available in most grocery stores. It’s also available on the internet.
- To reduce salt intake, I recommend using low sodium soy sauce. If you don’t have one, regular soy sauce will suffice. If you prefer a darker color, use dark soy sauce instead.
- Mirin is a must-have ingredient in Japanese cooking. Mirin gives the dish a sweet and tangy flavor. If you prefer, you can substitute dry sherry.
- For this recipe, I used regular granulated sugar.
- Water: To make the stock, combine chicken bouillon powder and water.
WAYS TO USE MENMA
- Ramen Topping: This is the most common way to serve menma bamboo shoots, which add a delicious flavor and crunch to the ramen noodles.
- As a Side Dish: It can also be served with rice as a side dish.
- As a Snack: It can be eaten as a snack on its own.
HOW TO MAKE MENMA BAMBOO SHOOTS AT HOME?
- Bamboo shoots should be cut into thin slices that are about 1/4-inch thick and 2 inches long.
- Set aside after combining chicken bouillon powder and water.
- Heat sesame oil and minced garlic in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute on medium-high heat. Bamboo shoots, sliced For about 2 minutes, stir-fry.
- Then stir in the chicken stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Bring everything together and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and leave uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
- You can serve the menma right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
ALTERNATIVE RECIPES FOR BAMBOO SHOOTS:
Spring bamboo shoots are making their way into local grocery stores and wet markets around China as spring fever sets in. I was born in China and have lived there for three years. At the markets, you can actually witness the seasons change!
Most Northerners, or bei fang ren (), enjoy using spring bamboo in soups, stir-fries, or cooked with pork—all of which are ideal uses for fresh bamboo shoots in season. We Shanghainese, on the other hand, like our regular style of cooking: “red-cooked,” i.e. hong shao, for those in the know!
Adobong Labong is a bamboo shoot dish that is prepared with pork and shrimp. This Adobong Labong Recipe will teach you everything you need to know about the dish. In Filipino, bamboo shoots are known as “Labong.” These are delicate, young edible bamboo sprouts that have sprouted on the ground.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Pre-sliced bamboo shoots should be avoided because they are frequently too soft.
- Cut them into thin slices to soak up all of the delicious flavor.
- If you don’t like the flavor from the can, soak the sliced bamboo in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking.
- If you want a spicy flavor, add some chilli pepper to your menma.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does menma taste like?
Menma from the store is sweet, savory, and flavorful, with a crunchy texture. This homemade recipe yields a menma that is flavorful but not crunchy.
What is menma in ramen?
Menma (,, ) is a lacto-fermented bamboo shoot condiment from Japan. Before fermentation, the bamboo shoots are dried in the sun or by other means. Menma is a popular topping for noodle soups, particularly ramen. … Menma is also known as shinachiku (), which translates as “Chinese bamboo.”
Can you put bamboo shoots in ramen?
Menma (Salted Bamboo Shoots) is a traditional Japanese ramen topping that can also be eaten as a snack. Slightly crunchy and bursting with flavor. Dried bamboo shoots are reconstituted and seasoned with dashi. Menma is best known as a ramen topping, but it can also be served as a snack or appetizer.
Where to buy menma for topping?
Menma can be found in most Japanese grocery stores. It’s usually in a jar in the condiment aisle or a vacuum pack in the refrigerated aisle. Alternatively, you can order them from Amazon.com.
What type of bamboo is used to make ramen?
Menma (or) is the Japanese name for fermented bamboo shoots that have been dried before to fermentation. It originated in China and is also known as Shinachiku (). Menma is also known as Pickled Bamboo Shoots, Seasoned Bamboo Shoots, and Preserved Japanese Bamboo Shoots
How do I vacuum wrap bamboo shoots?
Fill a pot halfway with the white rinsing water from when you washed the rice. (Alternatively, use plain water and add some rice bran wrapped in a cheesecloth.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and cook for an hour or so, until the rice bran is tender enough to poke with a skewer
How do you prepare bamboo shoots?
Trim the fibrous outer layers and superfluous leaves from young bamboo shoots, but save the sensitive leaves, which are delicious. Cook the shoots in boiling, salted water for about 20 minutes, then slice them and add them to your favorite recipe