This elegant and easy vegetable stir-fry recipe complements most Asian style dinners. If asparagus doesn’t look so good in the market or is not in season, no problem. The sweet, salty, fishy sauce typical of many Vietnamese dishes can be used with a variety of vegetable mushroom combinations – spinach, bok choy, green beans, or cabbage, to name a few.
This is a recipe you can play with, using the sauce as a base to create your own stir-fry combination. If available, consider using fresh shiitake mushrooms instead of the dried.
Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry
Based on the recipe in Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen
1 ½ lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1 ½-2 inch pieces
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight in warm water and sliced into ¼ inch strips
Vegetable oil for stir-frying
For the Sauce
½ t sugar
1 ½ t fish sauce
1 T oyster sauce
2 t vegetable oil
1 ½ T water
Blanch the asparagus pieces for 1 minute in a large pot of salted water. Drain and plunge the pieces immediately in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside with the sliced mushrooms.
In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the sauce – sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, vegetable oil and water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
In a wok or large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes until heated through. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir the sauce into vegetables for about 1 minute until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve immediately.