Stir-Fried Asparagus with Soy Bean Paste

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

New Beijing Cuisine

New Beijing Cuisine

By Jereme Leung

Published 2010

  • About

Dajiang is a condiment that it used throughout northeast China. Similar to ketchup or mustard in texture, it’s a fermented soy bean paste that is thickened with flour and toes the line between savoury and sweet. Making dajiang is a tedious, complicated process, with a month-long fermentation period, so it is more sensible to buy prepared pastes from a reputable supplier than to attempt making it at home. Asparagus is such a great vegetable on its own, so it’s best not to mess with it too much. Its subtle sweetness pairs very well with dajiang.

Ingredients

  • Asparagus 400 g (14 oz), ends trimmed
  • Cooking oil as needed
  • Fermented soy bean paste (dajiang) 10 g ( oz), or substitute with soy bean paste (mian chi jiang)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing) 1 Tbsp
  • Potato flour 1 Tbsp, mixed with some water
  • Chive (optional) 1
  • Canned soy beans (optional) a handful, deep-fried until golden brown

Method

  1. Cut asparagus into 10-cm (4-in) lengths. Discard lower end of stems.
  2. Fill half a wok with cooking oil. Heat some water in a pot. When oil is hot, add asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Remove asparagus and quickly blanch again in pot of hot water for 2 minutes. Drain asparagus and set aside.
  3. In a clean wok, heat a little oil over high heat and sauté soy bean paste until fragrant. Add sugar, cooking wine, asparagus, a few drops of water and stir-fry for 3 minutes before adding potato flour solution to thicken sauce.
  4. Remove from heat. For presentation, tie asparagus into a bundle using the chive. Place on a serving dish and garnish with deep-fried soy beans if desired. Serve immediately.