Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sauteed Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The alliteration should have been my first clue. It was just too cute for words. I sat, nonetheless, and carefully read every word of the recipe before committing to make it. My last thought before moving on to the kitchen? The sauce would be too strong for the asparagus. As it turned out I was right. Every once and a while, I fall prey to a professional recipe that I sense is wrong but for some reason refuse to put down. It's misguided hero worship on my part. I still can't believe that pros put recipes out there that haven't been kitchen or field tested. This recipe failed my field test, but I decided to post it anyway. While it may be wrong for asparagus it would work nicely with fresh green beans or garlic whistles. Information about garlic whistles can be found here. The recipe makes enough sauce that the beans or whistles could be served with rice noodles and make a lovely light supper or lunch. Do be aware that once this sauce hits a green vegetable it will lose its lovely color. Here's the recipe for those of you who have not been put off.

Sauteed Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2 pounds asparagus, ends discarded
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1) Diagonally cut asparagus into 3 inch pieces.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili flakes and pepper. Set aside.
3) Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/2 cup water and asparagus. Cover and cook until asparagus is still crisp to the bite, about 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and pour off any remaining water.
4) Add oil, garlic and ginger to pan with asparagus. Sauté until lightly browned.
5) Add soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook until sauce coats asparagus.
6) Sprinkle in toasted sesame seeds. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 - 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and White Bean Salad - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and Lemon Grass Risotto - One Perfect Bite


Federica Simoni said...

Eccezionale Mary questa ricetta!! adoro gli asparagi..devono essere statti squisiti preparati così!!!un abbraccio!!! ciao!!

Diane said...

I agree this sauce does sound a bit strong,asparagus has such a lovely flavour why kill it? Maybe a slight varition would be worth a try. Have a good weekend. Diane

My Little Space said...

Hope that I could find some plump & nice asparagus here. These taste much better than the smaller ones. I think it's asparagus season now in Oregon, right! I saw other blogger putting up those market place photos with all those fresh berries, rhubarbs & asparagus. Hope you'll have a great weekend!
Cheers, Kristy

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

this is best to have it a plate of steam rice, sound really delicious !

Jeannie said... are very adventurous with your cooking, still until you try, you'll never know huh! Thanks for posting, so now we! Have a great weekend. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Beans are the go! I can just imagine how yummy they would be with this dressing ~ although I am off to see what garlic whistles are!

chamki said...

Oh Gosh i just had asparagus for lunch and i thought enough of asparagus for this season, but seeing this recipe i am changing my mind 'cos i am going to make it in a few days, thanks Mary, your recipes are always tempting. Have a wonderful week end, Ciao!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I always think the lighter the sauce for asparagus the better. But it sounds like it would be great on the green beans or even broccoli or leafy greens.

Katie Zeller said...

I can see both where you would be tempted and where it could overwhelm.
Try this for something similar, but less intense - for 16oz blanched asparagus, cut into 2" lengths: 2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame (or walnut) oil. It's a Chinese recipe.... Sprinkle with a few sesame seeds if you like. I let it marinate for 10 minutes and serve warm, not hot.

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, great post! Interestingly, I was testing a recipe this week for an upcoming party job and had the same experience and thoughts- sometimes even the pros can be wrong. I'm thinking the beans are a great idea- thank you
xoxo Pattie

giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•. said...

Buon giorno Mary :-)
Gli asparagi erano il piatto preferito di mia madre ( ed anche mio )... me li preparava sempre bolliti e poi ci spalmava sopra una piccola noce di burro, che con il calore si fondeva piano piano.
Una squisitezza.
Happy day.

Jacalyn @ said...

Happy PS Mary. Oh and thank you so much for visiting me and letting me know what egg cream is! That was very sweet!


Rachel Cotterill said...

I do like the sound of the sauce. Green beans was my first thought (before I read the sentence where you suggested it!) but I think it would be yummy with aubergine, too.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This one certainly has lots of "eye appeal." I've been sauteeing a lot these days, and I love the crisp result with asparagus. But it makes sense that a vegetable with such flavor would do better with a lighter sauce.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Oh Mary, i think this makes a delicious the sesame too!!
I think this would go with all my favs and yeah green beans sounds so so good!!!

Joanne said...

This sauce does sound delicious even if it overpowered the asparagus. How do you think it would be on eggplant?

Pam said...

The sauce does sound strong but delicious to me. You are a very creative, adventurous cook. Love that asparagus! Have a great weekend!

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Mary,
Asparagus are such a delicate vegetable, that I think, yes... that sauce must be very strong for them. Maybe with broccoli..., well, anyway, they look beautiful and amazing.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Joanne, it would be fine on eggplant.

Renée said...

What an interesting new recipe idea. I usually just roast or steam mine. It grows wild on ditch banks where I live. In fact 36 years ago this next week, we were out picking asparagus when I started into labor with our oldest child. My darling Mom came and took care of me. She blanched and froze much of our asparagus and we ate it all winter! Love, love, love it...thanks.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I've had the same experience with sensing that a recipe won't quite work. I will take your advice and try this recipe with fresh green beans. Have a great weekend!

Anna Mullican said...

What a beautiful picture! I will have to try this. Asparagus here in Tuscaloosa, AL is hit or miss. Thanks for the recipe!

Priya Suresh said...

Thats a beautiful and droolworthy sauteed asparagus..awesome!

Karen said...

We planted some garlic this year, so am anxious for it to come up... off to google garlic whistles because I've never heard of them!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is an exciting combination to elevate asparagus. A great alternative to plain old steaming or grilling.

Mother Rimmy said...

I can make a meal out of asparagus, especially when the asparagus looks as divine as this!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I don't want asparagus season to end Mary. I am getting some fantastic ideas to prolong it as long as possible.

Puna said...

No this is yummy! It's going on my list of things to try.

Claudia said...

Food alliteration - it always draws me in. So does "sweet and spicy" so did that photo. I love asparagus season!

Julie said...

Beautiful asparagus! Asparagus is so wonderful on it's own, it's hard to find the right sauce to enhance the flavor.

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