In this case, though, I’ve moved asparagus from the side to the center of the plate in the form of a one-pot Asian main course. You’ll want to have all the ingredients prepped and lined up on the counter before you start because once you get rolling everything goes into the pan very quickly. The actual cooking time is scarcely 10 minutes.
You begin by pan-searing the raw spears in a hot pan to get a little color on them, adding shiitake mushrooms and shrimp, then flavoring it all with ginger, garlic, chili slices and oyster sauce. Serve it with a side of brown rice or your favorite whole grain, and you’re good to go.
PAN-SEARED ASPARAGUS WITH SHRIMP, SHIITAKES AND CHILIES
Start to finish: 40 minutes
1 pound (about 1 bunch) asparagus, tough ends discarded
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps cut into quarters (or sixths if caps are large)
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 small red or green chili, such as a jalapeno or serrano, seeds and ribs discarded if desired, thinly sliced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooked brown rice, to serve
If the asparagus stalks are very thick, use a vegetable peeler to shave off the thick skins starting just below the tip and down to the bottom. Cut the stalks into angled 1/2-inch pieces.
In a large skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add all of the asparagus and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-high and saute the asparagus, stirring, until it is crisp-tender and golden at some of the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl, and set aside.