Quarantine Comfort Food, Quick and Easy, Recipes, Tips from Janani

Asian Style Asparagus – Chinese Takeout Copycat

Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! Asian food is one of my favorite kinds of food. It is probably because Asian food is generous in salt, enough to please my salt loving palette. LOL. This recipe is SO simple. It only requires 5 simple, everyday ingredients (I don’t count oil as an ingredient- sorry if that is cheating!). Except for the main ingredient every other ingredient is super shelf stable, and you can easily throw this together in 10 minutes, including cleanup. Yes really! I am talking about my Asian style asparagus dish! You will feel like you are having takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant. Which is a great feeling, especially when so many of us can’t really get out right now to get our favorite foods.

Asparagus

I think that asparagus is a highly underrated vegetable. It is really delicious and is pretty packed with nutrients. They also cook easily and almost all spears have at least some part that is good for your purpose.

Let me explain. Getting the great part of an asparagus spear requires a little bit of finesse. What I mean is that the divide between the nice and tender part, and the hard and gross part, is pretty thin. So I’m going to walk you through how to get a great spear of asparagus every time!

The trick

Ok so let’s dive in. You’re going to take your asparagus spear and place one hand at the spear portion and one hand at the base portion. Now gently bend the asparagus and you’ll start to see where it looks kind of bulgy. Now you can begin to inch your hands closer to that area and continue bending. Bend until the asparagus cleanly snaps into two.

The fresher the asparagus, the cleaner and quicker the break. And also, the less stalk wastage there will be.

This takes a bit of a learning curve, but all it takes is getting through one bunch of stalks individually to get the hang of it! I believe in you! 🙂

So now that you are armed with the greatest asparagus spears, let’s get started with this super simple recipe!

A couple of notes

Please note here that I have used ginger garlic paste, which is a staple in Indian households. Don’t worry if you don’t have it though. For these proportions, you can use 2 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of grated ginger to substitute!

I used a black bean paste to add a little bit of a kick to the dish. This is totally optional. But for those of you interested I used Lee Kum Kee brand black bean garlic sauce. A word of caution: it is a sodium bomb! I used literally half a teaspoon because it is too easy to go overboard with their pastes and consume 10 days’ worth of sodium. Yikes.

So just be mindful of these notes and let’s go!

Ingredients

  1. 1 bunch asparagus spears, prepared per above instructions
  2. 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  3. 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  4. 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted (I’ll show you how below)
  5. 1/2 tsp black bean garlic sauce, optional
  6. Oil, for sauteing

Instructions

  1. In a large dry skillet heat oil on medium high heat, until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add in ginger garlic paste (or fresh ginger and garlic) and saute. Be careful of splatter from the hot oil!
  3. Add in asparagus spears and toss well to coat.
  4. Add in soy sauce and black bean garlic sauce and toss well to coat.
  5. In a small dry skillet, saute with no oil some white sesame seeds until they brown. Take off the heat.
  6. Add toasted sesame seeds to the asparagus!
  7. Serve alone or over your favorite rice!
  8. Enjoy!

Results

This simple recipe is so flavorful and makes a wonderfully light meal. It is healthy (if you mind the sodium!) and reminded me of Chinese takeout!

Give it a try and comment below!

See you soon

Janani <3 <3

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