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Published March 25, 2010, 12:00 AM

CHEF JEFF — ONE BYTE AT A TIME: Szechuan Asparagus

Spring is here, and that means there’s plenty of asparagus showing up in stores.

By: Herald Staff Reports,

Szechuan Asparagus

2 pounds asparagus

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, unseasoned

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

½ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper

½ cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Cut asparagus into 3-inch pieces on diagonal. Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili flakes and pepper in bowl. Set aside. Heat large saute pan over high heat. Add ½ cup water and asparagus. Cover. Cook until asparagus is still crisp to bite,about 2 minutes. Pour off any water. Add oil, garlic and ginger to pan. Saute until lightly browned. Add soy mixture. Bring to boil. Cook until sauce coats asparagus. Sprinkle in toasted sesame seeds. Serve.

Yield: Serves 8.

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