You can leave out the cornstarch but it helps the sauce cling to the asparagus.
By / Photography By E. S. Bruhmann | April 01, 2016

Preparation

• Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar; set aside. Heat sesame oil in a wok over high heat until hot. Add chili flakes and remove from heat. Allow oil to stand for 10 minutes or more.

• Combine minced garlic and white part of onion in a small dish. Return oil in wok to high heat. When hot, add garlic mix and stir 15 seconds. Add asparagus and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir soy mixture and drizzle over asparagus. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to platter; sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion tops and serve.

• Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a vegetarian topping over rice. Stir any leftovers with leftover rice and cooked egg to make fried rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green onion, green and white part separate, both chopped
  • 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, cut on diagonal into 2-inch-long pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds
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