Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 23, 2009: Asparagus stir-fry

Putting in a standing order for a random box of fruit and vegies from Greeline has meant that every couple of weeks we scour the internet for ideas to help us use up cabbage, celery, cauliflower, or whatever else is flavour of the month. This week we had asparagus and spinach, and Cindy knew the perfect recipe.

This stir-fry is another great dish from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. It's quick to make, relatively healthy and just ridiculously full of flavour. I used a heavy hand with the chilli flakes, meaning we had a strong chilli bite, which really complemented the ginger, basil and mint, all cut through by the acidic lime. We used vegetarian oyster sauce rather the hoisin, and it hit the mark perfectly, adding just the right amount of sweetness. It's probably not essential to use asparagus in this recipe - it would work just as well with beans or any other crisp green vegies, but the asparagus stalks had a very satisfying texture alongside the softness of the tofu and spinach.

Asparagus stir-fry
(via 101 Cookbooks)

This makes about 3 serves.

sesame oil
1 small handful fresh mint, chopped
1 small handful fresh basil, chopped
1 packet smoked tofu, cubed
4 shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (we used some from our jar, which worked just as well)
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
6 asparagus stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup cashews
a few handfuls of spinach leaves
zest and juice of one lime
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce

Make sure everything is ready to go in the wok and that whatever accompaniment you're serving this with is basically ready before you start cooking - this takes no time at all to cook.

Stir-fry the tofu in some seseame oil for about 5 minutes, until it's started to go golden. Remove and set aside.

Load up the wok with some more sesame oil and, once it's hot, add the shallots, ginger, asparagus, chilli flakes and a generous pinch of salt.

After another minute or so of stir-frying, throw in the garlic, cashews and spinach. Stir-fry until the spinach starts to wilt (about a minute). At this point I realised that the cous-cous we were having on the side was still 8 minutes away from being cooked - our spinach ended up pretty wilted.

Return the tofu to the wok, along with the lime and oyster sauce and stir-fry for another 30 seconds or so. Kill the heat, stir the fresh herbs through and add more salt if required.

Voila, it's all over in about 6 minutes, and you've got yourself a deliciously healthy meal.


  1. Glad you agree, Penny - it's not my best photo but it really is an excellent meal. :-)

  2. This was delicious! definitely recommend it!

  3. Glad you liked it too, claireskis! We need to make it again now that asparagus are back in season. :-)