It is asparagus season, so every time I go to the store there are bundles of this vegetable that Jan and Eilene love. Miriam and I cannot eat asparagus, so I usually leave them where they lay. For this Macanese inspired Sunday dinner, I decided that I would make some for them, but I will also make a separate vegetable dish for Myr and myself.
Karl’s Sesame Asparagus Stir Fry
1 lb. young asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Tbs. peanut oil
½ Tbs. dark sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into match sticks
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 Tbs. shaoxing rice wine
1 Tbs. dark soy sauce
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs. water
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1. Rinse and trim off ½ inch of the cut end of the asparagus.
2. Starting at the top, cut off two pieces of the stalks and set them aside.
Tip: Four inches of the flower end. This is the most tender part of the stalk and you do not want to over cook it.
3. Cut the rest of the asparagus stems into two inch pieces.
4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the asparagus stems for two minutes.
Tip: If you are using older, thicker, asparagus stalks you may need to blanch it a bit longer.
5. Put the asparagus stems in a bowl of cold water, drain, and set them with the flower tips.
Tip: This prevents them from over cooking.
6. Heat the oil in a wok or a frying pan and add the garlic and ginger.
7. Stir fry over a medium high heat for one minute, until fragrant.
8. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt.
9. Stir fry the asparagus for 4-5 minutes, until the it is almost tender.
10. Add the shaoxing, soy sauce, sugar and a splash of the cornstarch mixture.
Tip: You want to add enough to thicken the sauce, but not so much that the sauce becomes gummy.
11. Sprinkle on most of the sesame seeds and continue stir frying for one minute, tossing to coat the vegetables with the sauce.
12. Transfer the asparagus to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining sesame seeds.