Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are the edible shoots of the bamboo plant. They are used as vegetables in numerous Asian dishes and broths.
Sold in various processed shapes, they are available in fresh, dried, and tinned versions.
Raw bamboo shoots contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are natural toxins (which can also be found in cassava.) These toxins must be destroyed by thoroughly cooking the bamboo shoots and for this reason fresh bamboo shoots are often boiled before being used in other ways. The toxins are also destroyed in the canning process, which is the most popular way to purchase bamboo shoots.