Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Chopped Nuts and Ginger

I know, I know. I'm really am sorry. Today's photo is dull and less vibrant than I'd like it to be. While planning for the week, I made a mental note to photograph this dish before it was tossed with soy sauce. My intent was lost somewhere between the drawing board and the wok, and as you can see, I mechanically added soy sauce to the pan, giving the asparagus and nuts the exact hue I was trying to avoid. I do things like that. All the time. Fortunately, all that's hurt is my pride, and the photo is a more accurate depiction of the finished dish than my staged attempt would have been. I'm on my own for supper tonight and this is the type of dish I like to make when Bob is not home. We both like this stir-fry, but while I consider it an entree, he considers it a side dish, and that can make dinner more complicated than I like it to be. I had this with a bowl of steamed rice and it made for a wonderful meal, one, I might add, that is perfect for Meatless Monday. Asparagus floods our local markets at this time of year and it can be purchased for less than $3 a pound. I take advantage of the season while it lasts. This is an especially easy dish to make. It uses ingredients that can be found in any grocery store and can be table ready in less than 30 minutes. I use tamari when I make this, but regular soy sauce can be used as a substitute. More information about tamari can be found here. I find it to be more flavorful regular soy sauce, so I keep a supply of it on hand. The only caution I have to share with you regarding this recipe, is a reminder not to overcook the asparagus. Make sure your wok or pan is hot before adding oil to it. This step prevents food from sticking to the pan as you stir-fry. If you have all the ingredients ready to go, this comes together in seconds. It should be served immediately. While cashews are more authentically Asian, you can use peanuts or cashews to make this dish. While there is no true substitute for the nuts, water chestnuts or sunflower seed kernels can be added to provide texture for those who are allergic to them. I know that those of you who try this dish will love it. Here's the recipe.

Stir Fried Asparagus with Chopped Nuts and Ginger


1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cleaned and diagonally cut into 1 -1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1/2 cup salted peanuts or cashews, chopped


1) Heat a wok or frying pan. Add vegetable and sesame oil and heat until oil shimmers.

2) Add ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.

3) Add asparagus and cook for 4 minutes, until barely tender and still bright green. Stir in nuts and tamari or soy sauce. Cook 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 to 3 main course servings.

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