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Friday, April 29, 2011

White Asparagus and Shrimp on the Wok

This month's theme for the 5 Star Makeover cooking group is white asparagus. Asparagus in general is a Spring vegetable. It is considered to be slightly milder in flavor and a bit more tender than green asparagus. This is my first time cooking white asparagus. Some of us in a cooking group had a hard time finding them at a grocery store. I was lucky to find some at Costco in my area in a sealed package.  I bought 2 bags just in case I screwed up the first bag haha.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of any kind of asparagus. Sorry! The flavor is great but the after-intake-smell is know what I mean! After finishing 2 packages of white asparagus, I will take a little break from it. However, they are beautiful with white color and more delicate than green ones.

It was quite challenging for me. I didn't quite know how to make it creative and be outside the box. I didn't want to go with soup as I know some of us would partake in that but I did bring the idea of blending it in my sauce. I was afraid this might be too simple compared to others at the cooking group. So, hopefully I won't let everyone down.

I made 2 forms of asparagus but they are in 3 different preparations - fried, sauce, and stir fried. I peeled them before executing the 3 preparations as they are chewy and grainy with the peel. For my dish, I went with Asian style to have a "me" personality in it. I added peeled, chopped, white asparagus with other seasonings in a blender to make a stir-fry sauce. I chopped up the bottom part of the fresh ones for stir fry, and breaded with panko and Parmesan cheese for deep fry. I used a wok because I like to have a char flavor and texture for asparagus and shrimp. You just have to wok it up and create a char then mix in a sauce. Serve it on rice which I use with a plating ring to help build up height for presentation.

White Asparagus and Shrimp on the Wok
Yield: 6
Note: I cut white asparagus off about 2 -2.5 inch from the bottom before peeling

Ingredients for sauce:
1 cup white asparagus, peeled and chopped
3 Tbs oyster sauce
3 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs Mirin
2 Tbs Sake
1/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and white pepper

For Deep-fry:
18 stalks white asparagus, peeled
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or more if needed
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese or more if needed
Vegetable oil for deep fry

For Stir-fry:
3 cups white asparagus, peeled, cut into 2.5 inch approximately
1 lb white shrimps, headless, shelled, deveined,  15 ct.
8 oz. fresh oyster mushroom, sliced
8 oz. brown bleach wood mushrooms
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sauce (recipe above) or more
Splash of Sriracha
2 Tbs vegetable oil, divided

Serve with warm brown rice

For sauce,
  • Blend everything together in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning if needed
  • Pour the mixture in a small sauce pan and put on medium heat until it's heated through. Set aside.
For Deep-fry,
  • I used medium sauce pan so that I wouldn't waste too much oil. Heat oil to 375 F.
  • Mix panko and Parmesan in a shallow tray.
  • Coat white asparagus with egg, then transfer to the panko mixture, transfer back to egg, and back to panko mixture for second coat.
  • Fry a few at a time (don't over crown) until golden brown.
  • Drain with paper towel. Set aside.
For Stir-fry,
  • Pat shrimp dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Put a wok on high heat. Wait until it starts to smoke. Add 1 Tbs oil. Swirl to coat.
  • Add shrimp and wok it back and forth occasionally. This will create a char flavor. Set aside in a bowl when it's done.
  • Add the remaining oil; add asparagus and wok it until it creates a char mark and flavor.
  • Add mushrooms in a wok with asparagus. When the mushrooms are about to cook, add cherry tomatoes. 
  • Stir occasionally. Add sauce mixture and splash of Sriracha. Stir well.
  • When it's almost done, add shrimps back to the wok. Stir well and turn the heat off.
Note: You shouldn't spend lots of time on the wok otherwise the vegetable will get mushy.

  • I used a plating ring to help with presentation. Rice at the bottom (about 1/4 of the ring), then add stir-fried asparagus by leaving out shrimps. Drizzle the sauce in if needed.
  • Place 2 shrimps on top.
  • Dot tomatoes and sauce on the side.
  • Place fried asparagus on the side.
  • The actual serving size is bigger than this. The picture is for presentation.

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Anonymous said...

So great that you use the asparagus in three different ways, the stir-fry asparagus is something I just have to try for our "Stir-Fri-days" :) and that crispy fried asparagus looks just scrumptious. Awesome creation!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

You are the wok queen! I'd love to dig into all of these white asparagus incarnations.

Amazing photos, so vibrant just jumping off the screen.

Great job my friend!

Magic of Spice said...

This looks fantastic Tanantha! I am actually a big fan of white asparagus, and I am dying to try that sauce...very creative and beautifully executed!

lostpastremembered said...

Great job Tanantha! I like the asparagus 3 ways since it shows the whole personality of the vegetable. I must try frying asparagus with panko... fab idea. I have done it tempura style but.. like the panko better. the stir fry is great... what a great light meal you have done. It is cool the way we all show our personalities with our dishes... this is a lot of fun!

Pacheco Patty said...

Oh la la Tanantha, everything looks scrumptious here;-)
Gorgeous photos and I love the way you expressed your creativity with the white asparagus in all it's incarnations;-)

Marisa said...

I love what you did, Tanantha! The deep fried asparagus in panko is my favorite part. Really nice job. :)

Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen said...

Wowza!! I love your flavor combinations and the deep fried asparagus? What's not to love about that? A deliciously fine presentation, and one I wish I could taste right now!

Trix said...

Cool, I never would have thought of stir fried asparagus!

Bren said...

i love this! the fried element is my fave! and great composition, too. funny we both used shrimp (but I didn't eat mine). Great pictorial, too.

angela@spinachtiger said...

Very creative and I must say diligent for someone who doesn't like asparagus.

Chef Dennis said...

simply outstanding Tanantha! you really outdid your self with the white asparagus, I would love to find some to work with! In the old days we always used it with veal oscar, topped with was a beautiful thing!
Have a great week my friend

LeQuan said...

I love your dish, Tanantha! The fact that you cooked it 3 different ways adds great texture, taste, and depth to the dish. Never tried frying with Panko and cheese before, but it sounds delightful. Love the addition of the cherry tomatoes to put some colour into the dish. Lastly, you know how I feel about my shrimpies. So you had me hooked at "shrimp". Haha.

Victoria said...

Definitely great uses for white asparagus! You used it three different ways, and all of them were outside of the box. I would especially love to try the deep-fried asparagus :) Crunchy little spears!! Yum!

Spicie Foodie said...

All 3 are great ways to prepare asparagus. I love that you included a Tanantha style too :) I'm a big fan of asparagus, both colors. Loving yours!

Jessie said...

I'm not a beg fan of asparagus, either (much less white asparagus), but I would eat anything you make, Tanantha! I love how you have three different preparations of the asparagus - most people would stop at just one! And with shrimp, mmmmm :)

Take care, Tanantha! I hope you're having a nice week!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Tanantha, Love all your ideas and presentations. Good for you for doing it even if not crazy about the taste

Daily Spud said...

You should have no worries about letting anyone down with that one, I'd be more that happy to have that lot on my plate any day!

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