Asparagus Shrimp Stir-Fry

Photo: Thomas J. Story

"You wouldn't find fresh asparagus in Saigon when I was a kid," says chef Eric Banh, co-owner with his sister, Sophie, of Seattle's Monsoon and Ba Bar restaurants, "but it's the kind of thing that a fancy restaurant would serve [from cans]." Now that he and Sophie live in the Pacific Northwest, where spring asparagus is sweet, juicy, and abundant, they love to use it in spring dishes--like this savory shrimp stir-fry.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Total:
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 154
  • Calories from fat: 64%
  • Protein: 8.8g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.7g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 693mg
  • Cholesterol: 52mg

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Three Crabs brand*
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian "oyster" sauce*
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp, tails left on
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • Hot steamed jasmine rice

Preparation

  1. 1. Snap off the root end of each asparagus stalk. Slice the asparagus into 2-in. pieces on the bias so the resulting points echo the tapered tips of the asparagus. Set aside.
  2. 2. Make the cooking sauce: Mix together sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, "oyster" sauce, and 1/2 tsp. oil in a small bowl.
  3. 3. Heat a large heavy skillet or wok over high heat and pour in 3 tbsp. oil. Add garlic and fry, stirring vigorously, until the garlic is just beginning to brown, 10 to 15 seconds. Toss in shrimp and cook about 30 seconds. Add 1 tbsp. cooking sauce, toss to coat, and cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp are almost opaque all the way through, about 2 minutes. Scrape shrimp and seasonings into a bowl and set aside.
  4. 4. Wipe pan clean and place back over high heat. Pour in remaining 2 tbsp. oil and add shallots. Cook, stirring vigorously, until shallots are slightly browned--30 to 60 seconds. Add asparagus, toss, and pour in remaining sauce mixture. Cook asparagus until almost tender but still a little crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes depending on their thickness. Add shrimp mixture and toss to warm through.
  5. 5. Pull off the heat. Stir in the rice wine and pepper and serve immediately, with rice.
  6. *Use mild Three Crabs brand for cooking; find in Asian markets and well-stocked grocery stores. The Banhs prefer vegetarian "oyster" sauce, made from mushrooms, to regular oyster sauce because they feel the quality is more consistent.
  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving without rice.
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