Asparagus & Pecan Stir-Fry
For some people, especially avid meat lovers, the idea of having a meal that’s built exclusively around plants sounds like some kind of punishment. But in fact, it’s a wonderful way of nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs, as vegetables offer a vast array of health promoting nutritional benefits. Also, it’s the perfect season to enjoy more plant based meals, since there are tons of fresh vegetables and fruit readily available. And the great thing about preparing and consuming more vegetables is that you will perhaps become more willing to try new stuff and to come up with interesting dishes.
This Asparagus Stir-Fry is one of the best things I’ve had lately, vegan or otherwise. It’s full of flavour and perfectly balanced, as the sweetness of the asparagus pairs so nicely with the boldness of the spices. The recipe has an Asian vibe to it and thus pairs really well with a nice bowl of rice.
I’ve included my favourite way to make perfect rice below. But it’s up to you if you want to go for my method or perhaps you have a different one that you like to use when making rice. Also, I do not have a wok, but if you happen to have one, use it for this recipe, it’ll make things even better, for sure. I used pecan nuts in my recipe, but toasted walnuts or cashews would also work nice. Oh, and I unfortunately was out of cilantro to finish off this dish, but do use it if you have some; and if you fall into the cilantro-hating category, feel free to use parsley instead.
Either way, I do hope you try to make this asparagus recipe, it really and truly is one of the most finger-licking good dishes I’ve tasted lately. And if you don’t like asparagus but still read this far, you should really try this dish; if there ever was a dish to turn even the most fierce asparagus hater, then this is it.
750g/1½ pounds asparagus spears
1 Tbsp coconut oil (canola or sunflower oil work just fine too)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2cm/0.5 in. ginger root, finely grated
½ tsp five-spice powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp soy sauce
100g/½ cup toasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped halved
A couple of spring onions, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil, lightly toasted
A small handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped
Wash and dry your asparagus spears with paper towels. If they are medium-sized, slice in two lengthwise, then cut into 5cm/2 in. pieces.
In a medium bowl, place garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, sugar, pepper, soy sauce, nuts and mix well.
Place a wok or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the asparagus and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic mixture. Mix everything well and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with toasted sesame oil, sprinkle with spring onions and cilantro. Serve immediately.
For the basmati rice:
250g whole grain basmati rice
Rinse your rice in several changes of water, then place in a medium saucepan. Pour water over the rice to cover it by 2.5cm/1 in. of water and place saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stir once, lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the water is almost entirely absorbed and the rice has steam holes on the surface. Cover saucepan with a damp clean kitchen cloth, place a tight fitting lid on top, reduce heat to lowest setting possible and allow rice to cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat without removing lid and leave on hob for another 5 minutes. Remove lid and cloth, fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Recipe adapted from here