Chinese-Style Asparagus Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as a Side Dish

Appears in

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 4-5 Minutes

Crispy and tender, with a wonderful earthy flavour, asparagus is a recent discovery for many Chinese cooks. It resembles what we know as rice shoots. Here the asparagus is blanched, cooled and tossed in an easy-to-make sauce. It is always best not to add the sauce until the moment you are ready to serve the salad.

Ingredients

  • 450g (1 lb) asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli oil

Method

  1. First, make the soy dressing. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Cut the asparagus into 4 cm (1½ in) pieces. Put the chopped shallots in a clean teatowel and squeeze out until dry. Set aside.
  3. Place the sesame seeds on a baking tray and put under a hot grill until golden brown. Watch them to make sure they do not burn. Set aside. P
  4. Bring a wok of salted water to the boll. Now add the asparagus, bring the water back to the boil and cook for 4 Minutes or until tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and plunge it immediately into cold water. Leave for a few Minutes to cool, then drain well. When cold, turn the asparagus onto a platter.
  5. When you are ready to serve, drizzle with the soy dressing. Add the shallots and toss well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve at once.

P Can be prepared ahead: put the dressing in a screw-topped jar and refrigerate; it will keep for 2 days. Cover the asparagus and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Put the seeds in a screw-topped jar, where they will keep for 2 days.

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