Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Bamboo Shoots to Save Tuna
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Lately, I've been trying to get out of my long-time food rut and get experimental in the kitchen with main meals. I love testing new baking recipes, but I don't get as excited when it comes to actual meals and savory dishes. However, in an attempt to sample new foods and change things up, I decided to try using a new-to-me ingredient: canned bamboo shoots. I've had bamboo shoots before in dishes like thai coconut curry, but I'd never actually bought any and cooked it myself, let alone the canned version.

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Korean canned bamboo shoot.

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I was expecting to see julienned slices of bamboo, so when I opened the can and saw this, I was like wtf?

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Looks scary, like chopped off alien tentacles... ! I wasn't expecting it to look like this.

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And so I started rinsing it off (it had some white residue on it), and found that the texture was fibrous and 'piece-y,' similar to fish. So then a light bulb went off in my head... . let's make vegan tuna salad! I'm sure using fresh bamboo (or even the vacuum-packed kind) would've been far superior, but if you want to try this out, here's what I did:

Vegan Bamboo Shoots 'Tuna' Salad

1/4 block of medium organic tofu, blended (or use vegan mayo)
1 Tbs dwenjang or miso paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can bamboo shoot, roughly chopped
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2-3 dill pickles, finely chopped
2 sheets of nori, finely torn
salt & pepper to taste
dash of smoked chipotle pepper (optional)

1. Blend the tofu, dwenjang paste, and garlic powder with a hand immersion blender til smooth.
2. If using canned bamboo, thoroughly rinse and drain the shoots.
3. Chop into rough chunks and add to the tofu "mayo," along with all the other veggies, nori pieces, and spices. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
4. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

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Here's the bamboo, chopped up. I'm sure you could make a chick'n salad too, by replacing the nori sheets with some fresh parsley or dill.

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The end result was this creamy-crunchy salad.

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I spooned some onto a ciabatta bun (from October bakery) with lettuce and a squeeze of mustard.

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Enjoyed with some radish kimchi (I'm Korean afterall), and an apple.

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Healthy, low fat, vegan tuna salad sandwich.

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It's a bit hard to describe the texture of the bamboo. It wasn't exactly chewy... . more... crispy? The flavor was also interesting (in a good way), somewhere between artichokes, hearts of palm, and corn? Bah, I dunno... you'll just have to try it out for yourself. :)

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Experimental sandwich mission: accomplished.