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Quick Asparagus Stir-Fry

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Asparagus in season is one of life’s great pleasures. In this Nepali stir-fry, it cooks in a simple flavor paste of cooked onion, garlic, and ginger. Rather than being masked, the asparagus comes through loud and strong and delicious against the background flavors.

Flowering Chive Stir-Fry: Chinese chives (also called flowering chives) also make a quick and attractive stir-fry. Begin with 3 bunches, cut into 1-inch lengths, to yield 3 cups. Heat 3 tablespoons oil, toss in ½ teaspoon fenugreek and 2 red cayenne chiles slit lengthwise, and stir-fry briefly. Add 1 teaspoon each minced garlic and ginger and ½ teaspoon turmeric, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Toss in the chives and ½ teaspoon each ground coriander, cumin, and salt, and stir-fry until softened (3 minutes or so).

Serves3 to 4

Cooking Methodstir-frying

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 15 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentwok

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky, savory, spiced

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound asparagus (25 to 30 medium-thin spears)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger mashed to a paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic mashed to a paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

Wash and drain the asparagus, then cut into approximately 1-inch lengths, discarding the tough thick bottom ends. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, and ground coriander. Set aside.

Heat a wide heavy skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan, then add the fenugreek and stir. After about 20 seconds, add the sliced onion and stir-fry until softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the reserved flavor paste. Add the asparagus and sprinkle on the turmeric and salt.

Stir-fry for a minute to expose all the surfaces of the asparagus to the hot pan, then add the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook for a few minutes more (timing will vary depending on the thickness and freshness of the asparagus), until the asparagus is just tender. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve hot.

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