Ginataang Labong

Labong is a Tagalog word for Bamboo Shoots, an edible part of the bamboo which is used in different Asian dishes. These shoot or sprout for those who do not know, are the new bamboo stems that just came out from the ground. You will know and see this if you have bamboo tree at your home and mow the lawn; they are the annoying sprouts that come out regularly specially in spring time. Having said that it does not mean that you can eat the ones from your lawn as there are only some species that can be used for culinary consumption.

If you are interested in using this ingredient you can buy this fresh, canned or vacuum packed and if I were to suggest buy the fresh ones as a first choice, even though they are hard to prepare (you to tenderize it by boiling) it does not smell like the processed ones. Bamboo shoots have that nasty smell once it ages, but if you don’t have a choice buy the vacuum packed ones but boil them multiple times to get rid of the smell. You can use this on stir fries, curries and stews and it is very fibrous but can also be tender depends on how long have you boiled it. A very exotic ingredient indeed but most probably you had tried this already especially if you dine in at Thai restaurants as this is one of the popular vegetables they use in their curries.

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Ginataang Labong 3

Ginataang Labong

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


  • 2 cups sliced bamboo shoots
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 150 g pork belly, cut into small cubes
  • 3 pcs red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil


  1. In a pot add water and bamboo shoots then boil for 30 minutes if using the non-fresh ones. Once tender drain let it cool then squeeze out water.
  2. In a wok add oil then sauté garlic, ginger, chillies and onions.
  3. Add pork and brown on all sides.
  4. Add bamboo shoots and coconut milk then bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes in medium heat until liquid is reduced. Add water if needed.
  5. Add coconut cream, season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then simmer for 5 minutes in medium heat.
  6. Serve with freshly cooked steamed rice.



No Responses

  1. I remember having a dish very similar to this when we were living in Mauritius – we also had palm heart something or another.
    Have a great week.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. Its also popular over here Raymund though the style of preparing it slightly different with serai and galangal, nice and lovely looking as I like it too.

  3. nors says:

    pre…sarap naman nyan..labong? san ka nakabili ng fresh?

  4. I have never eaten bamboo shots, or at least I think but your salad looks so good.
    thanks for the tip of boiling the bamboo shots to get rid of the smell.

  5. ceciliag says:

    I am going to have quite the shopping list next time I go up to the Asian Market in the big city. I miss thai food. This one looks good, once you get the right bamboo shoots i guess! c

  6. Judy says:

    I like bamboo shoots, but I’ve only ever eaten them as an accent in recipes rather than the main ingredient. Interesting…

  7. Kristy says:

    I take it you’ve encountered these little roots while mowing. 🙂 They sound like fun and a great ingredient for stir fries. I’m not sure if I can find it fresh around here. I’m going to have to investigate that.

  8. Kim says:

    I don’t like bamboo shots too much, but they look like noodles anyway 😀

  9. Wow, I always learn something here.

  10. crustabakes says:

    i dont think i have ever eaten bamboo shoots before. But i think i will like this dish just by reading about it

  11. Caroline says:

    I’m loving this dish, very different from anything I’ve tasted. Thanks for all of the info too…always cool to learn a bit more about the dish. 🙂

  12. I think my wife would love this dish, especially with the coconut milk. 🙂

  13. I don’t recall ever hearing about bamboo shoots before. Very interesting but then again I learn something interesting here all the time. I just love it

  14. peasepudding says:

    I love bamboo shoots, can you get them fresh in Auckland and where would that be?

    • rsmacaalay says:

      Its so seasonal to get fresh ones, I think right now its is unavailable in Chinese shops like Lims and Tofu shop so the next best thing is the vaccum packed which is available all year.

  15. This sounds absolutely delicious! I make san choy bao with pork but the addition of coconut milk to this dish sounds irresistible.

  16. foodjaunts says:

    You make such interesting dishes. Love the mix of coconut and chiles, plus you can certainly never go wrong with pork belly!

  17. This dish brings back memories, Raymund. My dad used to make this dish SUPER hot and yes, just like how you made it — with pork belly! Thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  18. Like Judy, I’ve never had bamboo shoots as the star ingredient–but the recipe makes it sound like I really *should*! First I’ll have to make a pilgrimage to the Asian super-grocery a little distance from here to see if I can get the shoots in any form other than canned, though.

  19. meri says:

    Mmm I thought those were noodles at first!

  20. its dabong in bisaya and its one of my favorite although i haven’t tried it cooked with coconut..

  21. Ooh thanks for the tip on boiling the vacuum packed shoots to get rid of the smell!

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