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Appetizers, Mains, Vegetarian

Japanese asparagus with pounded sesame sauce

Japanese asparagus with pounded sesame sauce
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Spring always brings plenty of young asparagus, pencil-thin with bright green stems. But too many dishes cover up the fresh taste of the asparagus with a fattening sauce. This simple, Japanese-style soy dressing is flavored with toasted sesame seeds rather ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 2
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Step 1Snap 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.

Step 2Place 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.

Step 3Combine 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.


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