Fat asparagus in a black bean sauce
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
We usually let the seasons guide us to what we want to make, and you know when something is really at its best is when it's in season. Fat asparagus is one of those very seasonal foods. When we are close to daylight savings starting and asparagus is in full swing, these very large spears of asparagus pop up, and are great to cook with as they’re very meaty and really like a meal in themselves. Here we have simply served it in a black bean sauce, very similar to Malaccan-style black pepper crab. It’s simple and super delicious, with the saltiness of the black soybeans. Look out for white asparagus too. which would work very well here due to its very crunchy texture.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch new-season fat asparagus
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
4-5 curry leaves
1½ tbsp coarsely chopped fermented and salted black soybeans (see note)
1½ tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp butter
Steamed rice, to serve
1. Heat oil in a wide frying pan or wok over high heat. Add asparagus and turn occasionally until blistered and starting to turn golden. Remove asparagus from pan then add garlic and curry leaves and stir fry until garlic is just turning golden, then add pepper and black beans and stir to combine. Add Kecap Manis, soy sauce and butter and stir until a sauce forms.
2. Return asparagus to the pan and toss to coat until asparagus is heated through (15 seconds). Serve as a side dish with other dishes or with steamed rice.
Recipe and image by Lisa Featherby.