Sesame Soy Asparagus

Sesame Soy Asparagus(DSC_0998)

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that I love, but only when it’s done right. I can’t stand to eat it overcooked or boiled and mushy. It has to stay somewhat crunchy and firm.

How I chose to cook asparagus also depends on the type of asparagus I’m using. It’s available in green and white, thick and thin/baby spears. I have yet to try cooking with white asparagus, and I generally use thick or baby green asparagus with a slight preference for the thin/baby variety. While they all taste relatively similar, there are slight differences, most importantly texture.

The thick asparagus cooks up “meaty” in texture and I generally prefer steaming or simmering it. Sometimes I steam it lightly and serve it topped with a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper or drizzled with Mama’s Lebanese Salad Dressing, Since the stems are a bit rough, it’s important to snap off the woody ends by bending the asparagus a few times until it snaps off naturally, usually near the bottom of the spear. You can then scrape the bottom of the stems with a vegetable peeler to remove the roughness.


The thin or baby asparagus is more tender and crisp, lends itself well to sautéeing and cooks relatively quickly. I like to sautée it in a wok like I did here with sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce and sesame seeds. I usually just trim the very woody ends at the bottom, but peeling is not necessary as the spears are quite tender.

Either variety makes a great addition to risotto, pasta and other grain dishes (like here in this Spring Barley) and is also great grilled on the barbecue. If you are adding them to a recipe, remember that the tips cook more quickly then the stems, so I like to add them in phases.

Today, I’m sharing a really simple yet tasty side dish or appetizer that makes great use of this seasonal vegetable.

Sesame Soy Baby Asparagus

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sesame Soy Asparagus(DSC_0996)Recipe and Photography by Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte

Baby asparagus is sauteed with sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce and sesame seeds for a simple and tasty side dish or appetizer.

  • 1 Bunch Thin/Baby Asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1/2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil (use water for oil free)
  • 1 Small Clove of Garlic, pressed
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Shoyu (or Tamari) , preferably low sodium
  • 1 Tbsp Black & White Sesame Seeds
  1. Heat sesame oil (or water for oil free) in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add pressed garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add asparagus (washed and trimmed) and toss to combine with oil and garlic.
  3. Add sesame seeds and toss to combine. Sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of water, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Uncover, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of shoyu or tamari (depending on how strong you like the flavour) and toss to combine.
  6. Continue to sauté about 3-5 minutes for a crisp and tender texture.

Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

5 responses to “Sesame Soy Asparagus

    • By the way R.P. Apothecary….just read your blog and love your tip for unfed sourdough starter. I never know what to do with it. I’ll have to try out your Sourdough Muffin recipe. I would have left this comment on your blog, but I couldn’t find the comments section…am I blind?

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