Stir-Fried Asparagus with Oyster Sauce

Gabriella and I were at the store today and came across thick asparagus. I used to only buy the slender spears, but the thick ones, when cooked right, have more flavor. They’re excellent in stir fries, for example.

With this in mind, I snatched some up. A recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks — Gourmet Today — had been calling me.

This was a quick meal. It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s also inexpensive if you already have the sauces in your pantry.

Jeff and I made this our dinner. The recipe says it serves four, but only if eaten as a side dish. I’d double the recipe if making this for four. We put some rice in the rice cooker and gobbled it up. The oyster sauce, which consists of oysters, brine and soy sauce, makes this dish rich without over powering the asparagus. Mmmmm-mmmm!

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Oyster Sauce
adapted from Gourmet Today

1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, preferably Shoaxing, or medium dry sherry (I used pale dry sherry, a close substitute)
1 1/2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Stir together broth, oyster sauce, and rice wine in a small bowl.

Heat a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact, then add oil, swirling pan to coat. Add garlic and salt and stir-fry until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add asparagus and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add broth mixture and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serves two as a meal, four as a side


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