- Serves: 6 – 8
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- Total Cooking time: 15 minutes
Now that we are headed into the turning of the season from winter into spring, we begin to see some wonderful seasonal vegetables on the produce shelves of local farmers markets and grocery stores everywhere. One of these vegetables is asparagus, which is actually a relative of lilies-another harbinger of springtime.Unfortunately for most, their first experience with asparagus is not a pleasant one, finding its way onto the dinner table in the form of a dark green, soggy mess that can hardly be considered appetizing.
The following recipe takes a different approach to preparing this versatile and tasty food, using stir frying which uses high heat and short cooking time to seal in colors and flavors as well as nutrients.The pairing of shrimp and black mushrooms, which are an intensely flavored variety of dried mushroom, perfectly highlights the sweet yet earthy flavor of asparagus while not overpowering it at the same time. Try this served in bowls with steamed white rice, for a healthy and delicious taste of asian cuisine.
|1||lb||Asparagus spears, sliced into 1″ pieces (slice them on a bias or angle for best results)|
|3/4||lb||medium shrimp (31/40 count) peeled and de-veined|
|6||oz||can sliced bamboo shoots, drained|
|1/2||cup||carrot, peeled and sliced thin|
|8||dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in 1 cup very hot water 15 minutes then de-stemmed and sliced 1/4″ julienne|
|1||cup||bottled Oyster sauce (available in the asian section of most grocery stores)|
|1||tablespoon||chopped fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)|
|1||tablespoon||crushed fresh ginger|
|2||tablespoon||cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 Tbsp water|
Combine shrimp, garlic, and ginger in a medium mixing bown and stirl until well combined and set aside to marinate at least 10 minutes. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat until shimmering hot. Carefully add the oil and turn the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Add the shrimp mixture into the wok and stir-fry 2-3 minutes or just until the shrimp turn pink.
Transfer back to the bowl and set aside. Let the pan reheat then add the asparagus, carrots and mushroom slices, adding oil if needed. Stir-fry 3-5 minutes or until asparagus turns bright green and the carrots are tender. Add the bamboo shoots and stir in quickly. Next, return the shrimp to the pan and pour in the oyster sauce, stirring to coat evenly.
Add in the cornstarch-soy sauce mixture and return to heat, allowing it to boil and thicken. Serve immediately over bowls of steamed rice and perhaps some chilled plum wine.