Japanese Rice with Asparagus

This is a traditional Japanese dish, classic in its simplicity. Appealing to the eye as well as the palate, it is so satisfying that it is almost a meal in itself. This delectable dish is based on short-grain rice. You can substitute broccoli or runner beans for the asparagus.


  • short-grain rice measured to the 450 ml (15 fl oz) level in a measuring jug
  • 750 ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) sake, rice wine or dry sherry
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh ginger


Cook the rice according to the method given for long-grain rice on p.186, but substitute stock for the water and add the soy sauce and sake.

Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus, then cut the stalks diagonally into 7.5 cm (3 in) long pieces.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan and add the oil. Put in the asparagus pieces and salt and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan and leave to cool.

Fold the asparagus and ginger into the warm cooked rice and serve.