By the end of May you guys might get a little sick of my asparagus obsession. I just can't help myself. And I have another 4-5 recipes that I intend to make before the spring is over. So I am going to apologize in advance because I'm going to be on an asparagus kick for at least a little while longer. But I promise to start mixing in a few other veggies once they become available at the farmers' market. I have been waiting anxiously for sugar snap peas, which one of the vendors assured me would be ready this weekend. Yay! But the first few recipes I make will probably include both asparagus and sugar snap peas. I just can't help myself. But I promise that I will at least try to mix it up a little in terms of the types of asparagus recipes we make - both in terms of types of cuisine and entrees vs sides vs salads.
Anyway, if you are looking for a nice easy vegetarian stir-fry dish and you enjoy asparagus even half as much as I do, you totally want to make this dish. Fresh in-season asparagus has a great sweet, slightly grassy flavor that pairs well with the meaty, earthy dried shiitakes. And the sauce is sweet and savory, and with the asparagus and mushrooms it made for a very interesting combination of flavors. Because of the meaty flavor of the mushrooms the dish is very satisfying and hearty. I didn't miss meat at all in this stir-fry. Served with some white rice it was a wonderful meal.
Recipe after the jump!
Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry
Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors
By Andrea Nguyen
By Andrea Nguyen
1 1/2 lbs asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch pieces
6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 1 hour, drained and cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
For flavoring sauce:
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 generous tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp canola or other neutral oil
Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and parboil for about 1 minute, or until just tender but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
To make the flavoring sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, oil, and water and stir to dissolve sugar. Set aside. Season to taste with additional sugar, fish sauce and/or water (Alex added an additional 1/2 tsp sugar to balance out the saltiness).