Friday, April 29, 2011

Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Poached Egg & Miso Butter

This dish was one of the reasons I bought this cookbook.  Actually, we would have bought the cookbook either way because Alex and I both love the Momofuku restaurants, but when I saw this recipe in there I was really excited.  One of my first few meals at Momofuku Ssam was centered around this dish.  Of everything I ate that night, this was the dish that really stuck out in my mind.  Years later I still remembered how delicious it was.  And unlike most of the recipes in the Momofuku cookbook, the dish is actually fairly easy to put together.  It requires a few pans and utensils, but overall it's pretty simple!  And it's super delicious.  Alex is out of town for the evening so when I stumbled across fresh NJ asparagus at Whole Foods today, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner.  It was every bit as delicious as I remembered, even if I had to modify the recipe to make regular poached eggs rather than the slow-poached eggs David Chang uses.  The miso-butter is warm and a little nutty.  It's totally savory and delicious.  Then when the runny egg yolk runs down into the butter, it forms this rich creamy sauce - almost like a hollandaise.  It's the perfect taste of spring.

Recipe after the jump!

Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Poached Egg & Miso Butter
Adapted from Momofuku
By David Chang and Peter Meehan

1/4 cup shiro (white) miso
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, divided
large bunch thick asparagus
1 tsp vegetable oil
kosher salt
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper

Mix together miso and 3 tbsp butter with a wooden spoon in a small bowl.  Stir until well-combined.  Set aside.

Snap off the bottom woody end of each asparagus stalk.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave off the tougher outer layer from each stalk.  Depending on how thick your asparagus is, you might only need to peel the bottom 2 inches.  If your asparagus is particularly think, you are going to want to peel a little more.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat.  Add remaining tbsp butter and vegetable oil.  Once butter is melted, add asparagus.  Cook until asparagus begins to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes.  Season with a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat to medium.  Turn asparagus over to cook on the other side until nicely browned and tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with additional salt to taste.
While the asparagus is cooking, fill a 4-quart saucepan with 4 inches of water and stir in white vinegar.  Bring liquid to a bare simmer. Break each egg into a teacup.  Use a spoon to stir the water until it forms a vortex.  Slide 1 egg into center of vortex.  Simmer egg about 1 1/2 minutes for runny yolk.  Remove egg from pan with a slotted spoon to a plate.  Repeat with remaining egg.  Set aside.

Heat sherry vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 15 seconds.  Add miso butter and remove from heat, stirring until well-mixed.  You don't want to melt the butter entirely - instead it should form a thick sauce.

Spoon miso butter onto plate.  Add asparagus and top with poached eggs.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve immediately.

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