Saturday, March 16, 2013

Asparagus with Wasabi Dip

We have really acquired a taste for Wasabi.  Wasabi is a lot like horseradish, with the bite and the kick.  The flavor can be strong so you want to use it in moderation and I usually mix it with something else.  Fresh Asparagus is always a wonderful treat.  Here, in California, we can usually get good Asparagus year round.  Of course, it is always best in the spring.  This recipe came to me a long time ago and I still use it at gatherings and sometimes I just make a small batch for John and Me.

                               Asparagus Spears with Wasabi Dip

3 pounds small to medium size Asparagus, washed and trimmed
1 cup Mayonnaise
4 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Wasabi paste (find this in the Japanese section of most grocery stores)

To trim Asparagus I find the best way is to break the bottom woody end off.  Holding the spear and just snapping the woody end where it wants to break is the best way.  Once you have snapped a couple of spears you can just lay out the rest and use a knife to cut the rest off at the same place on all the spears. It’s nice to have even ends and all the spears close to the same length.

To cook the Asparagus until just crisp tender, I blanch small amounts in a large pot of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.   Do not over cook the asparagus, so test one by taking a bite.  Then, remove the spears and put them into very cold water for 2 to 3 minutes to stop the cooking process.  I then gently dry the spears with paper towels.  I wrap the spears in a paper towel and put them into a plastic bag and then chill them.  You can do this the day before you need them.  

For the Dip:  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar and lemon juice and wasabi paste.  Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved. Chill the dip over night.  Serve the dip with blanched, cold asparagus spears.

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