Shoots with everything on the menu as chefs cook more than 100 dishes
Bamboo shoots break through the ground in Songjiang’s Sheshan, Tianma and Xiaokunshan hills as the nourishing rain in March glosses the region, and the period from late March to early April is the best season for tasting the region’s bamboo shoots.
As part of the 19th Sheshan Bamboo Shoots Gala, the Bamboo Shoots Feast Festival organized by Sheshan Forest Hotel is celebrating its fourth anniversary. The festival will last from March 26 to early May.
The bamboo shoots feast, also nicknamed “one hundred bamboo shoots dishes,” is a good choice for visitors to celebrate the coming of spring. During the bamboo shoots season in late March and early April, chefs from various hotels and restaurants in Sheshan National Tourist Resort will put their best foot forward as they develop new dishes and prepare for the bamboo shoots feast.
The chefs use more than 10 cooking methods including braising, quick-frying, stir-frying, simmering, slippery-frying, steaming and boiling, to present more than 100 dishes with bamboo shoots among their ingredients.
“Though each dish has bamboo shoots as an ingredient, they differ in other major ingredients, and also in flavor and food styling. Therefore, diners won’t feel bored with so many dishes that have the same ingredient of bamboo shoots in common,” said Guo Jian, a chef at the Sheshan Forest Hotel.
On the menu for the bamboo shoots feast are stewed bamboo shoots and chicken in soy sauce, cold bamboo shoots and vegetarian abalone dressed with sauce, garlic-flavored bamboo shoots, mashed bamboo shoots and pumpkins, among others.
“One interesting dish we’ve developed is ‘Buddha’s hands and rings.’ The dish earned its name because our chef cut the bamboo shoots into the shape simulating a Buddha’s multiple hands and then simmer them with rings of pork intestine in soy sauce,” Wang Wei, a manager of Sheshan Forest Hotel, explained.
“The Bamboo Shoots Feast Festival originated from the four seasonal events held by our hotel, namely, the bamboo shoots feast festival in spring, the crayfish and beer festival in summer, the grain harvest festival in autumn and the goat meat festival in winter. The Sheshan One Hundred Bamboo Shoots Dishes is now a registered brand name,” Wang added.
As bamboo shoots tend to grow older and bigger after the Qingming Festival, or the tomb-sweeping day in early April, and their taste begins to deteriorate, the Bamboo Shoots Feast Festival will end around early May.