Because asparagus tips are more tender, care must be taken to ensure they do not overcook before the stems are ready. They are best cooked either upright in a tall pan so the tips steam while the stems simmer or flat in a shallow pan or frying pan.
Prepare the asparagus. Bring salted water to the boil in a shallow pan, then add the asparagus spears in a single layer without overcrowding. Reduce to a simmer and cover.
Cook for 5 minutes or until the stems are just tender. Remove with a fish slice and drain well. Arrange on a hot serving dish and pour over melted butter or serve with hollandaise sauce.