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Asparagus with Shiitake Mushroom

When you want something quick and light, think Vietnamese.  Vietnamese chefs consider their food craft as the “nouvelle cuisine of Asia.”

Personally, I love the idea that meat in Vietnamese recipes is considered  a condiment rather than the main meal deal! Vegetables and soup reign superior to meat, maybe because of the cost, but I like how many options and choices of vegetables there are to choose. Go into an Asia market, like I did the other day, and you will stand amazed at all the vegetable/herb offerings: lemongrass, banana leaves, water spinach, daikon, bean sprouts, Chinese celery and the list is just starting.

Back in my Whole Food days, I worked as a caterer, and the number one dish ordered for any party was the grilled asparagus. It was there I learned to really appreciate the different techniques to cook, grill, and steam asparagus.

When I found this recipe among its offerings in my cookbook, it was one of the first things I cooked. If I can describe how one thing separates Vietnamese cooking from all others, it is the vast combination of sauces for every recipe.  This one is no exception.

Here is the recipe by Andrea Nguyen as found in “Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors”

Salt

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed & cut on the diagonal

6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (soak at 8 hours in water, you can keep overnight in fridge after soaking and drained of water), trimmed and cut into 1/4 – inch strips

Flavoring Sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp fish sauce

1 generous tablespoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil

1 1/2 teaspoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil

Bring a large pan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and parboil for 1 minute, or until just tender but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside. Have the mushrooms cut and ready to cook.

To make the flavoring sauce, in a small bowl, combine and stir all the ingredients and set aside). The asparagus and sauce can be made ahead and set aside in the refrigerator for several hours.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry about 3 minutes, or until heated through. Raise the heat until medium- high. Give the flavoring sauce a stir to recombine, then add to the pan and stir to distribute evenly. When only a little sauce is visible, about after 1 minute, transfer the vegetables to a plate, serve and ENJOY!

See you later! ~~ Gặp lại sau nhé








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