I still remember a few years ago when the rainy seasons came, my dad used to clear the area around bamboo roots, then use mud taken from the ditch to cover the bamboo roots and wait the sprout to rise up.
When the very first showers of rain poured down, the ground became softer and spongier and the first bamboo sprouts began to rise up from the ground. Just a few weeks after that, the first group of early crop bamboo sprouts could be harvested. Then, my mom would bring a basket and a knife to the garden, cut the sprouts one by one and sell them in the market.
After the market day ended, my mom often bought a pig’s foot to cook the bamboo sprout soup for the whole family. As my mom said, in order to have a delicious pig-foot soup, it was necessary to simmer pig’s foot for many hours so that vein and skin of the pig could be soft enough. She also told me that the vein, which was soft and greasy, was the most crucial part of the pig’s foot. If we were afraid of wasting wood and fire and cooked not well enough, we could not enjoy all the essence of the pig’s foot and it was such a waste.
Besides pig’s foot with bamboo sprout soup, my mom sometimes cooked a very delicious dish named sour bamboo sprout with fried shrimp and pork. It cost much effort and time to cook this dish. My mom did not like salted sour forest bamboo sprout, because she thought that this one had strong smell and was not tasty.
My mom went to the garden and chose the young and big bamboo sprouts, peeled them, took the buds, cut them into pieces and washed them carefully. Then, she used a knife to split the bamboo sprout into four pieces and put them into the pot.
After that, she boiled the unflavored salt water and poured it into the pot when it got cold. The bamboo sprouts became sour after 4 to 5 days. My mom went to the market to buy some pork and shrimps. Shrimps were well-prepared, peeled and cut into two halves (if they were big).
The pork and salted sour bamboo sprouts were cut into slim slices. Then, my mom placed the pan on the cooker, made the onion dry and crispy, put the shrimps and pork into the pan and fried them.
Finally, my mom put the salted sour bamboo sprouts into the pan; put on the lid and simmer all until they bamboo sprouts began to be a little bit soft, flavored the dish with some spices until it was pleasant enough to taste and turned off the stove. After put everything on the plate, she added some coriander, a chili pruned into flower shape to make the dish more fragrant and colorful. At last, she made a bowl of fish sauce with lemon, garlic and chili…
Now, I have my own family and the cooking to take care of. Thanks to my mother’s cooking instruction from the time when I was a child, today I know how to make delicious dish for my husband and children at every meal when my family members harmoniously get together.