Here in Manila, Asparagus is one of the more expensive vegetable. It is also a bit difficult to find really fresh ones. Most of the time, they are sold already dried and wrinkled. Is it because asparagus do not thrive well in warm ( make that really hot!) weather? We do not really cook it often because it is simply not readily available in the market. But when I am able to buy and cook some fresh asparagus, the kids love it. Primarily because of the "crunchiness." (We are not fans of the canned variety. Though sometimes I use the canned ones for soup.) So, when Wandering Chopsticks launched the Weekend Wokking event with Asparagus as the first main feature, I was not sure if I can have an entry.
I was so elated (make that ecstatic!) yesterday to find some fresh asparagus in the neighborhood grocery. They were still in their delivery bags, not yet individually packed (for selling) when I stumbled upon them. I immediately asked the vegetable section guy to pack some for me without checking the price. I figured this vegetable is worth the price because (1) it is not easy to find good ones (2) kids and Hubby love them (3) it is a nutritious vegetable, packed with folates, and potassium, fiber, Vitamins A and C (4) it contains no fat, no cholesterol and is low in sodium. For more detailed nutritional information on asparagus, please click here.
I should buy asparagus more often... :)
I would usually cook asparagus stir-fried with some seafood, like fish or shrimps. But for this event, I decided to make it more special. I added X O sauce. XO sauce is a spicy flavorful sauce made with roughly chopped dried seafoods like scallops, and shrimps. It is a special Cantonese "secret" sauce once exclusive to gourmet seafood restaurants. That is why it was given the name XO - taken from XO Cognac, which connotes luxury, special, high quality, etc. The good news is, this sauce can now be bought at the supermarkets and Asian groceries. I bought the Lee Kum Kee brand because, well, I am not familiar with the other brands... :)
400 gms fresh green asparagus
200 gms fresh prawns, shelled, deveined
3 Tcooking oil, preferably canola oil
some ginger slices
3 T garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon X O sauce
salt and pepper
1. Blanch asparagus in boiling water then immediately plunge in cold water. Drain. This method is used to ensure that your veggie will retain the bright green color and to retain its 'crisp' or 'crunchiness' quality.
2. Heat up the cooking oil in a wok or a cooking pan. Saute ginger slices until light golden brown. Add in the garlic. Saue until fragrant but not burnt.
3. Add the prawns. Mix lightly to cook the prawns evenly. Lower heat. When the prawns are half-done, add in the XO sauce. Mix everything well. Add in the blanched asparagus. Stir fry everything until prawns are done. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
This is my entry to the first Weekend Wokking event. This event was launched by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate different ways we can cook one ingredient. The ingredient featured this month is ... guess what? asparagus! There will be different ingredient featured every month, so stay tuned!