This dish falls into the asparagus comfort food category in my mind. Its flavors are sweet, salty, and deep. The mushrooms help it feel satisfying and filling. But the star is the green spring asparagus. Both the asparagus and the mushrooms are sautéed in a dry pan to get some caramelized edges while retaining their lovely textures. —monkeymom
TEST KITCHEN NOTES
WHO: monkeymom is a scientist from the Bay Area.
WHAT: The springest, most delicate stir fry you’ll ever meet.
HOW: Saute asparagus, then mushrooms, then toss it all in their sauce.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Turns out that oyster sauce is a perfect match for asparagus — who knew? This recipe is a new way to celebrate spring produce — the sauce has those stir-fry flavors we love, but is light enough to let the vegetables sing. The ridiculously quick cooking time is a bonus; we’ll be making this as long as asparagus lasts. —The Editors
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (shiitake are my favorite, but buttons work fine too. You can add more or less depending on what you have on hand)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 ginger slice peeled and minced
- 1 pinch pepper, to taste
- Cut asparagus into 2-inch long pieces. Try the roll cut: slice on a diagonal, then turn the spear one quarter turn and slice on the diagonal again.
- Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and sesame oil until cornstarch is well dissolved. Set this seasoning sauce aside. Heat skillet to high and put a cup of water by the skillet (for thinning the sauce later if you need to).
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet set on high heat. Add shallots and asparagus. Stir the vegetables around for about 5-7 minutes. You are looking to get some nice browning on the edges. Taste a bit as you go to make sure they get tender, but still have a little bite. Remove from pan to a bowl or plate.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil and add mushrooms and some pepper. Stir mushrooms around on dry heat without adding any liquid. The mushrooms should shrink up and become browned.
- Add asparagus back to pan. Turn heat down to medium. Add 1 Tbsp more of oil and add garlic and ginger. Once you can smell the garlic, quickly add seasoning sauce. Stir to coat all vegetables in sauce. The sauce will reduce rapidly. You can add another tablespoon or two of water if you need to distribute the sauce better.