Among the most diverse species of produce available in the market today are edible mushrooms. In Asia, much like in Italy, there are many traditional dishes that contain locally grown or harvested mushrooms. Some examples of these are shiitake, champignons, straw mushroom, and bamboo pith.
Contrary to its name, this ingredient is not the pith, or any other part, of the bamboo plant. It is actually a type of mushroom that grows on bamboo plants. It often looks off-white to pale brown in color and is about 6cm in length. When it is dry, it looks like miniature loofah sponges. But when it is cooked, it looks like that synthetic netting or padding for fruits.
Bamboo pith or bamboo mushroom is an ingredient to many Asian dishes, particularly in Chinese cuisine. Before you can use it for cooking, however, you need to soak it for 4 to 5 hours. This is to not only soften it but also to remove any dirt.