Green asparagus with sesame dressing グリーンアスパラのごま和え

japanese cake

This is a very simple dish but it is a healthy alternative to sauting them in butter. It is a good small dish perfect with a drink.

First, the hard bottom part of green asparagus are removed (I just bend the very bottom until it snaps) and I only peel the skin on the bottom hard part using a potato peeler.  I blanch/boil the asparagus in lightly salted water until it is cooked but not too soft (it takes about 3 minutes for the asparagus above but the time it takes depends on the thickness of the asparagus) and then shock it in ice cold water to stop the cooking and keep it a nice green color. Dry on paper towels and cut into 2-3 inch long segments. I put the bottom parts on the plate first and place the tips on the top. (It looks like you got all tips….not!)

For sesame dressing, I first roast white sesame (1-2 tsp) on a dry frying pan for 4-5 minutes or until fragrant. Although white sesame I buy from a Japanese grocery store are already roasted, this will bring up the fresh taste. I started adding this extra step recently but it is worth the effort. Setting aside a small amount for garnish, tip the rest into suribach すり鉢 and grind coarsely using surikogi すりこぎ. I add Japanese white sesame paste or shiro neri-goma 白練りごま (1 tsp), sugar (1/2 tsp), soy sauce (2-3 tsp). Depending on the taste and consistency, add more soy sauce, sake, mirin or dashi to get desired consistency and taste. Pour it over the asparagus and garnish with the reserved sesame seeds. This is very nice small dish and could be served as a side dish or as a stand alone small dish.

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