Bamboo Shoot Yum (Soop Naw Mai)

Bamboo Shoot Yum (Soop Naw Mai)

Soop naw mai is a Northeastern (“E-san”) traditional Thai Food known in the west as Bamboo Shoot Yum. Soop naw mai is less popular than som tum (green papaya salad) among people in Bangkok, but tastes great. I personally like it better than som tum.

One thing that you should know is that when you add the fish sauce, the dish may develop a strong smell. Don’t worry. The smell does not reflect the taste at all.

1/2 bottle bamboo shoots
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 sliced green onion
1 teaspoon ground dried chili pepper
1/2 lime
2 tablespoons toasted rice


Slice green onion into 1/4 of an inch.  To make toasted rice:  Toast 2 tablespoons of rice in a pan over low to medium low heat.  Keep stirring until the rice turns golden brown about 3 minutes depeding on your heat.  Remove the toasted rice from the hot pan and let cool.  Then grind the rice coarsely.

The bamboo shoots for this dish come is a bottle or jar that indicates bamboo shoots in/with bai yanang leaves. The juice in the jar is dark green.  The shoots are partially shredded. But you will need to shred it all the way through to produce independent strands.


Boil the shredded bamboo shoots in water or its juice. Remove from heat after boiled. Drain the juice and shredd the bamboo into small strands.

Add sliced green onion, fish sauce, ground dried chili pepper, lime juice and half of ground toasted rice. Mix well and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle the rest of the ground toasted rice.

Add more chili pepper, if you like it hot. However, if you find it too hot, add more ground toasted rice to tone down the seasonings.

Serve warm or at room temperature with sticky rice.

Tips and Techniques

Substitute soy sauce for fish sauce for a vegetarian bamboo shoot yum.
When you add more chili pepper, add more fish sauce and lime juice too. The heat tends to burn our taste buds that extra seasonings are needed to keep the taste in balance.

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