Before the asparagus season is over again, let’s go for a recipe in our typical Hunan style.
I’m still always feeling a bit challenged by this way of cooking. After all, how do you describe something as a recipe that’s very simple and based on the assumption that people have some idea of what they are doing in the kitchen?
Well, that’s just why I also make videos of the preparation, so you can learn by watching. This time, at least I didn’t make any mistake quite as silly as I did with the chicken wings I prepared at the same time as this asparagus dish…
Except, it should not normally be necessary to steam the asparagus under a lid, as I did here. But, oh well.
The combination found here is typically Austro-Hunan:
Asparagus as Non-Chinese Vegetable
Asparagus is not exactly a Chinese vegetable; it is not being grown there. (Or at least, I have never seen it anywhere in China.)
Asparagus does, however, fit into the kitchen very well. It is a tasty vegetable, after all, and one that is mainly offered seasonally, at that. (There is some that starts before the real season, imported from places like Peru, but most of the asparagus we get here is grown in the Marchfeld or otherwise locally…)
Hunan-typically, we prepare it with chile peppers, of course.
The Right Kind of Chilli
And, here we have another example of a dish where it is pretty clear what sort of chilli is needed:
Green chilli. Not too hot. But with a bit of a kick.
Also, it takes garlic to add more flavor, in the way the Hunan kitchen really likes it and manages to make simple vegetables really tasty.
I did once also try bacon-wrapped asparagus, baked in the oven. It turned out pretty good, I’d say. My wife’s comment: “Sheesh, why didn’t you prepare it as always? I like that.”
So, if you have finally had enough of asparagus with some, maybe even ready-made, sauce, try this Hunan-inspired spicy version.
- 1 bunch asparagus (500 grams)
- 2-5 pcs green chile pepper slightly spicy
- 5-10 pieces garlic cloves to taste
- Wash asparagus, cut off thick ends if/where woody. (Peel if the skin at the end is thicker and old.)
- Cut asparagus in smaller pieces (about thirds), then cut those length-wise into quarters or thinner. (Make a julienne, if that tells you anything.)
- Wash and finely cut the chile peppers.
- Peel the garlic, crush it and chop it up a bit.
- Heat up the oil in a pan.
- Stir-fry the asparagus.
- As the asparagus gets softer, add chile pepper and garlic and fry all together.
- Add salt. Serve.