Best of BBtv: Cooking Young Bamboo Shoots with Joi Ito (score by Ryuichi Sakamoto)


The Boing Boing tv crew is taking this end-of-summer week off from production, so we're revisiting some of our favorite episodes from the last couple of months -- fun stuff you may have missed. Today, one of my personal all-time favorites: takenoko (竹の子), young bamboo shoots, with Joi Ito and original music by Ryuichi Sakamoto. -- XJ

You may know Joi as a serial entrepreneur, a twittering globetrotter VC, a World of Warcraft junkie, or the CEO of Creative Commons, but he has a more traditional side, too.

In this video, Ito welcomes us into his back yard in Japan, where he and his partner Mizuka teach us how to hunt for and prepare this traditional seasonal delicacy from a lush bamboo forest.

The episode is accompanied by an original score composed by Grammy, Academy Award, and Golden Globe-winning composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto. The legendary electronic music pioneer is also an outspoken environmental advocate. His recent reforestation initiative, “More Trees,” supports the planting of trees around the world to help offset carbon emissions. To-date, 2 billion trees have been planted mostly through work with country governments including Turkey, Ethiopia and Mexico. Link to English-language PDF with more info on the project.

Sakamoto co-founded the seminal synthpop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, and has scored or contributed to movie soundtracks including The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence, Babel, and the work of director Pedro Almodóvar. Boing Boing tv thanks him for generously contributing this beautiful, evocative score.

After the jump -- Joi Ito's family recipe for yummy takenoko just like mom used to make. Special thanks to the Ito family for sharing their traditions with us.

Here's Joi's blog post about his background with Ryuichi, and here's Joi's post from today about how this video came together.


RECIPE: TAKENOKO (Young Bamboo Shoots)
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How to slice:

Cut tip of takenoko at an angle. Cut vertical to down middle to front.

"Akunuki" process to remove bitter taste:

In a large boiling pot add:

* Dried Chili X 3
* Rice "Nuka" husks 2 handfuls

Cold water 2 liters
Add takenoko with the cuts and husks. Full heat from water for approximately 20-40 min (until you can stick a chopstick into the takenoko). Lower heat as it comes to a boil. After completed, cut heat and leave over night.

The next day, remove husks and cut to smaller pieces and boil for 10 min.

Making "Wakatakeni":

Make 2 cups stock from "Kobu" (seaweed) and "Katsuo" (Bonito flakes). Add Thin Soy Sauce - 3 table spoon, Sugar - table spoon, Sake - 2 table spoon. Add takenoko and boil for 8 min. Add "Wakame" (seaweed) and boil for additional 2 min.

Top with "Kinome" (Japanese herb) and eat as it is OR

Make Takenoko rice:

Make stewed Takenoko above but use "Oage" (dried tofu) instead of "Wakame". Take the sauce from Wakatakeni" and add as flavor to rice in a rice cooker and prepare rice normally. After rice is done, add the stewed takenoko and oage and mix. Enjoy.

Note: "cups" are Japanese size cups which are 200ml or 200cc.