Stir- Fried Green Asparagus with Chicken

 

 

I am always eager for asparagus to be in season in the spring, the reason being that they arrive with the coming of lots of sunshine.

Young asparagus spears are the tender shoots of the much larger plant, which if left alone can grow to over a metre tall. The spears shoot above the ground in early spring when the temperature starts to rise, and they are harvested when they turn bright green and are no more than 6-8 inches high. They are then graded by size and sold in bunches.

 

 

British asparagus is sweet and succulent, bursting with fresh flavours but the season is very short – only six weeks during spring.

Like all vegetables, asparagus starts to lose its sweetness as soon as it is picked from the ground, as once harvested, the sugars turn into starch. Because of this, you should always look for the freshest possible asparagus and use it as soon as possible after buying it. I like to pick my own from PYO (pick-your own) farms on the outskirts of London; it is a long drive for a few asparagus spears but well worth the effort.

To prepare the asparagus for cooking, grasp each spear between both hands and snap it. It will break at the woody bottom end – just above where the stalk is the most tender. Peel the lower part of the stalks using a vegetable peeler to remove the tough skin,as this will help to achieve a crispy texture once cooked.

 

 

There are a few asparagus dishes I make every year during this season and this Asian style stir-fried asparagus is one of them. I have used bite size pieces of chicken in this recipe but scallops or prawns work well too. It makes a wonderful side dish for a bowl of plain steamed rice.

 

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Chicken

Green asparagus – one bunch

Chicken fillets – 400g

Light soy sauce – 1 tablespoon

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Water -1 tablesppon

Corn flour – 1 tablespoon

Oil – 3 tablespoon

Dry chilli – 1

Ginger(chopped) – 1 teaspoon

Light soy sauce – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Toasted sasame oil- 1 tablespoon

Method

  • Cut chicken fillets into bite size pieces; mix with light soy sauce, salt,and corn flour. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a wok and stir-fry the  marinated chicken until cooked and keep aside.
  • Heat the rest of the oil and sauté ginger and  dry chilli until fragrant. Add the pieces of asparagus and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, soy sauce and sugar. Stir-fry for few minutes in high heat and finish with sesame oil.
  • Serve hot with a bowl of steamed rice.