Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chinese-Style Asparagus

We are right in the peak of the best time of year for asparagus -- all spring you'll get the maximum flavor out of these greens and a crisp and crunchy texture if cooked just right.  If you are wanting that extra flavor that Chinese seasonings bring out, here's how to maximize your dish!

  • Fresh Asparagus -- typically purchasing between February through June you can expect asparagus to be fresh in the US.  Other times of year you most certainly can still find it at the grocery store, but don't expect the same level of flavor or the fresh crispness when you bite in.
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional garlic powder to taste

1) Rinse the asparagus in cool water and gently brush away any debris
Have you ever bit into vegetables and felt little grits like sand?  Well wash your vegetables first and avoid this issue (I mention this because I used to have gritty vegetables when I was nearly killing people when I made food for them).
2) In a large pot, bring about a quart of water to a boil. 
3) Add asparagus and boil for about 4 minutes.  You don't want to overcook on this step so watch your time carefully.  When you see the asparagus get that bright green color, time to remove from heat.  If you go longer than 5 minutes you are likely over cooking.
4) Remove asparagus from pot and immediately place in cold or iced water.  This will immediately stop the cooking and keep your asparagus fresh and crisp!  Set aside.
5) In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil
6) Add minced garlic to skillet and let brown (usually about 1-2 minutes ion high heat is all you need)
7) Add asparagus to skillet and mix with garlic. Turn off heat. Sprinkle with salt.  Optional if you really like garlic you can also add a shake or two of garlic powder for an extra punch of flavor.  Toss all ingredients to coat asparagus and then remove from skillet onto a plate.  You'll have your asparagus on the heat for around 30 seconds or so, but remember you already cooked your asparagus before so you are just heating and seasoning this time around.  If you cook too long in the skillet you'll those that bright green color and crispness to the asparagus when you bite in.  If you like really soft asparagus then you can keep it on the heat longer in the skillet, but a little hint of a crunch really makes this dish shine!
8) Serve with your favorites -- this pairs perfectly with our Asian-Style Pork recipe!

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