Friday, November 4, 2011

Asparagus salad with a sesame soy dressing

Asparagus is one of my go to vegetables and roasting is what I tend to do most. In Chinese cooking, I stir fry them or add them to noodles or fried rice. Here the asparagus is lightly steamed and then dressed with a tangy, salty and spicy dressing. It is a great way to show case great quality produce.

This dish is can be served slightly warm, at room temperature or even cold. Hence it makes a super make ahead dish. It is a good first course for a multi-course Chinese menu.

Asparagus with a sesame soy dressing

1 bunch thick asparagus (about 1 lb)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds [toast over medium heat till light brown]
  1. Trim the asparagus to get rid of the tough woody ends. Cut into half. If you have a large steamer, leave them whole - makes a prettier presentation.
  2. Place the asparagus in a steamer and steam for 3 to 6 minutes depending on the thickness of the spears. They should not be mushy but should still have some crunch. Or you could blanch them in salted boiling water and then shock them in cold water. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside to cool.
  3. In the meantime, make a dressing with the lemon juice, chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt. Whisk till the salt dissolves. Pour over the cooled asparagus and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 3 to 4 depending on the number of courses being served.

Note: If you are a asparagus lover, try some of these other asparagus dishes.

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