Sunday, April 1, 2012

Simple Sesame Asparagus

This is one of those things that hardly deserves the designation of a "recipe," but is just too good not to share. The key thing is getting that oh-so-fleeting, super-thin baby asparagus; the thicker stalks can still be good, but you'll have to steam them longer, and I really recommend this preparation for the fresh, local stuff that needs very little interference. It's delicious hot, cold, or at room temperature, and with asparagus season upon us (can fiddleheads be far behind?), who can have too many quick, easy uses for everyone's favorite - albeit all too ephemeral - green vegetable?

Simple Sesame Asparagus
~ 1 lb. very thin young asparagus spears, snapped in half
~ 1/4 cup soy sauce
~ 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
~ 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

~ In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and sesame oil; set aside.
~ Saute the sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet, until golden brown and giving off a toasty aroma. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.
~ In the same skillet, bring about an inch of water to a rolling boil. Place the asparagus in the water, cover, and cook for about 90 seconds (the spears should be bright green). Transfer immediately to a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop the asparagus cooking.
~ Blot the asparagus on a lint-free tea towel, transfer to a large bowl, and pour on the sesame/soy mixture. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds, and mix thoroughly to coat.
~ Serve immediately, or if you'd like to have this cold, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


  1. This was such a fluke. I was shopping in Trader Joe's, which has reasonably good produce (though with way too much packaging), and inexplicably, in the last week of March, they had astonishing batch of super-thin, tender, sweet asparagus in a tub of water. I would have said that I dreamt it, but the food and blog post bear me out.

  2. I can't wait to try your simple asparagus recipe. I need to branch out from my roasting asparagus routine.

    Thanks for the inspiration!