Asparagus With Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds asparagus
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon toasted Sichuan peppercorns ground
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon catsup
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Peel the stalks if desired.
In a wide frying pan, cook the asparagus in 1 inch of boiling water until crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Arrange on a serving platter, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the asparagus.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Tip: It doesn't take guesswork to tell which part of an asparagus spear is tough and should be discarded and which part is tender and should be saved. Hold one end of the asparagus spear in each hand and bend. It will snap apart at the tough-tender division.