This bamboo shoot sate is an old family recipe that I'd never attempted until a few weeks ago. My cousin, CD, posted a photo of it on Facebook and I instantly salivated as the smells of my sister's kitchen engulfed me.
Fresh bamboo shoots are hard to get a hold of, but precooked shoots in vacuum-sealed bags as well as dried shoots are readily available at most Asian markets. I prefer the precooked ones in stir-fries and always reconstitute the dried ones for use in soups. Bamboo shoots are low-calorie, high-fiber and loaded with nutrients. Another reason to use more of this lovely and versatile ingredient!
The sate chile sauce is very similar to the ingredients that make up Bun Bo Hue, and I definitely think the shrimp paste is necessary. It adds a depth of flavor that nothing else can substitute, but I completely understand if you want to skip the malodorous shrimp paste. :)
- grape seed oil
- garlic, chopped
- shallots, chopped
- lemongrass, minced
- fresh Bird's Eye chile, chopped
- crushed dried chile
- shrimp paste
- cracked black pepper
- fish sauce
- precooked bamboo shoots (washed, drained & sliced thinly)
- cilantro, chopped
To make the sate chili sauce, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a generous amount of oil to fully coat the bottom. Add garlic and lower heat to med-low to slowly fry the rest of the aromatics. As soon as the garlic turns slightly golden, toss in the shallots and continue to fry. When they've turned slightly golden, add the lemongrass and let them infuse the oil. Add the fresh chile and continue to cook for a bit longer and then throw in the crushed chile and paprika. Continue to stir and slowly fry the aromatics until they've all blended nicely and infused the oil. Add a little dollop of shrimp paste and continue stirring for another minute. Season with salt, black pepper, fish sauce and sugar. You can make extra sate chile sauce and put in a glass jar to save for later use.
For this bamboo sate dish, toss thinly sliced precooked bamboo shoots into the sauce and stir-fry for several minutes. Adjust seasoning, take off heat, and toss with chopped cilantro. This dish is best served with steamed jasmine rice.