Takenoko, the young bamboo shoots that just sprouted from the ground, is a traditional dish of the Japanese spring cuisine. Initially covered with brown leaves that are removed during cooking, what remains is a fresh spring vegetable, rich in vitamins and fiber. The shoots are harvested while they're still small, before they fully harden.
Takenoko can serve as a standalone dish – with fried bamboo shoots being particularly popular – or an addition to rice or noodles, either fried or boiled. These bamboo shoots are also marinated and made into condiments. Interestingly, each part of the shoot has its own unique flavor.