Menma is the staple ramen topping in Japan, which is made from Bamboo Shoots.
Sometimes, it is called “Shinachiku” in Japan.
The crunchy, savory-sweet, soy-saucy-flavored bamboo shoots.
Actually, the real Menma is made from dried and fermented bamboo shoots, but, I am not making the real fermented bamboo shoots.
I am talking about “Menma-like” bamboo shoots topping for ramen noodles.
Although these Menma-like bamboo shoots are not authentic fermented sweet bamboo shoots, yet, has a savory sweet, and earthy flavor, and still you can enjoy the crunchy texture.
It goes perfectly with chewy ramen noodles and even enjoys Menma-like drizzled toasted sesame oil (or Layu chili oil) for a beer tonight!
Menma refers to a processed product made by steaming and fermenting a type of bamboo shoot called “sweet bamboo”.
Menma is the Japanese term, and the custom of using seasoned sweet bamboo shoots as the ramen topping is unique to Japan.
In China and Taiwan, they are commonly eaten as a snack or appetizer.
The manufacturing of Menma products is actually not easy, the menma products are produced through many processes with a lot of time and effort.
First, the sweet bamboo shoots are steamed or boiled to remove the scum, then,
slowly fermented naturally for about a month.
They are sun-dried in the sun for 3 to 4 days, rehydrated in water, boiled, and left to rest until it returns to room temperature.
After repeating this process over and over again, it is finally ready to go.
What Does Menma Taste Like?
The “real” menma is fibery, has a crunchy texture, and has a unique aroma, sweetness, and sourness.
The “real” menma is Lacto-fermented, and generally, it is sold in a jar or a package.
Momoya’s Menma is really popular in Japan and has been loved for a long by the Japanese.
The savory sweet and rich sesame oil aroma flavor is so addictive.
It is the perfect unique item for not only ramen noodles but also as an appetizer for beer or on the rice bowl.
Now, I am sure that you understand to make “menma” is not easy at home.
So, I will make Menma-like bamboo shoots for the ramen topping using canned bamboo shoots easily!
Use Canned Bamboo Shoots To Make Homemade Menma
As I said, it’s a super simple easy recipe, so you can use canned bamboo shoots for making homemade Menma.
You can buy it at an ASIAN ingredient section in regular grocery stores.
Drain the bamboo shoots and rinse thoughtfully before using.
There are many Menma bamboo shoots recipes made by stir-frying with toasted sesame oil, but I just simmer canned bamboo shoots with soy sauce-based broth.
In this way, Menma will not be oily (greasy).
You can drizzle toasted sesame oil to finish if desired.
“Menma” Bamboo Shoots : The Staple Ramen Noodle Topping
- 1 Canned bamboo shoots *5.2 oz without the water
- 3 tbsp Japanese Dark Soy Sauce Kikkoman
- 3 tbsp Sake /White wine
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- ⅓ cup Water
- ½ Dried red chili pepper *Optional
- ¼ TSP Hondashi powder/ Chicken soup powder *Optional
- Toasted sesame oil or Layu chili oil *Optional
- Open the canned bamboo shoots, rinse thoughtfully bamboo shoots and drain them.
- In a small saucepan, add dark soy sauce, sake / white wine, sugar, and water. *Add hondashi powder/ chicken soup powder and dried chili peppers, optionally.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, and add rinsed bamboo shoots.
- Cover the bamboo shoots with the drop lid. Alternatively, use a paper towel, parchment paper, or aluminum foil lid. *Refer to the post on how to make Otoshibuta
- Simmer the bamboo shoots and the sauce for approximately 10-15 minutes, over medium to medium-high heat. Make sure the sauce is boiling with bubbles.
- Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool.*The flavor will soak into the ingredients while the sauce cools down. You can serve homemade menma immediately, yet, it'll be more delicious the next day.
- When serving manma, drizzle toasted sesame oil or Layu chili oil optionally. *Homemade Layu chili oil recipe
- Menma-like bamboo shoots will be stored for about 1 weel in a fridge.