Welcome to a new weekly blog feature! Every Saturday, check in to find out WTF is in season and WTF to do with all that local goodness. Asparagus – people either love it or hate it. Interestingly, many people who hate asparagus, love the soup recipe I’ve included. And now, without further ado, over to asparagus.
THAI STIR-FRIED ASPARAGUS
You may not think of asparagus as a Thai ingredient but it is a popular vegetable in Thailand. Stir-fried asparagus is delicious. It is also very quick to make and at this time of year, a cheap meal.
For 4 People
- 1 lb Asparagus
- 1 lb Pork, cut into strips (or replace the pork with another lb asparagus)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp Thai Curry Paste
- 1 clove Garlic OR a few Ramps (Wild Garlic Bulbs), chopped
- 4 Lime Leaves, very finely sliced
- 1/2 can Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Palm Sugar (can use brown or granulated sugar instead)
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
- Fish Sauce
- Sliced Tomatoes and Cucumbers for garnish (optional)
Trim asparagus. The best way to remove the woody part of the stem is to hold an asparagus spear in both hands and snap it. It will naturally break where the spear turns woody (which may be almost half way up). Keep the woody parts for soup. Cut asparagus, on the bias, into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the coconut oil in a wok or sauté pan until hot and shimmering. Add the asparagus and pork and cook for a minute or two on medium-high heat. Add in the curry paste, garlic and kaffir lime leaves and sauté for another minute. Pour in the coconut milk and cook for another two to three minutes until the asparagus is just tender. Remove from heat. Add sugar and squeeze lime juice over. Taste and add fish sauce to taste.
Serve with Jasmine-scented rice.
NOTE: This is also delicious made with minced pork. If using minced pork, fry the pork separately until cooked before proceeding with recipe.
CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP
I make this soup every time I cook asparagus since it allows me to make use of the 40% of the stalk that most people waste.
- Woody asparagus stems, thinly sliced into rounds
- Onions and Garlic if you have them and the time to chop them
- Stock (homemade or bouillon cubes and water)
- Milk (optional)
- A few Potatoes, peeled and cubed
Sauté asparagus (and onions/garlic if using) in butter. Add stock, milk and potatoes. Heat to boiling and simmer until asparagus and potatoes are very soft. Purée soup. Add cream and salt to taste.
Enjoy immediately if you aren’t asparagused out. Alternatively, freeze for a dreary November day.
See y’all next week!