Japanese Asparagus With Pounded Sesame Sauce
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) (available in Japanese and gourmet markets)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Snap or cut off the tough ends of the asparagus spears. If the asparagus spears are thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel the lower 2/3 of the stalk. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until the spears are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the sesame seeds in a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat until they turn light brown and become aromatic, 1 minute. Watch carefully; they tend to brown quickly. Crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle.
Combine the seeds with the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and lemon juice. Arrange the asparagus on a platter and pour the sesame sauce over the top.
This recipe yields 2 servings.
Each serving: 92 calories; 1,026 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 3.38 grams fiber.