This wonderfully light vegetarian side can be prepared earlier in the day and brought out when dinner is served! Perfect when entertaining guests or in the middle of a busy week!
- 12-16 oz Fresh asparagus
- 2 Tbsp White miso, I prefer Cold Mountain Mellow White Miso or use Kanemasa Mild Shiro (white) Miso.
- 2 Tbsp Unseasoned rice vinegar , I prefer Mizkan Rice Vinegar.
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- Small amount lemon zest (Optional but highly recommended)
- Salt (Used in water for blanching asparagus)
- Large pot, 5 quart pot recommended
- Mixing bowl and colander that fits inside
- Cooking chopsticks or tongs
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Spoons for mixing and tasting
- Microplane grater or zester
- Plastic wrap
- Serving dish
Prepare the miso dressing
Add miso, rice vinegar, and sugar to a small bowl and stir together thoroughly. Add a small amount of lemon zest, not much is needed. Check for balance of flavors and adjust to your taste especially if using different brands than suggested above.
Prepare the asparagus
Rinse the asparagus under cold water and break off the bottom ends where it naturally snaps off. Set aside the spears. You may want to break/cut off a couple of small pieces to have an easy way to check for doneness when blanching. I find it best to eat a small piece to determine texture as sometimes the skin can be very tough.
Fill a large pot (large enough to hold the asparagus spears without breaking) with water. Heavily salt the water and bring to a boil.
Once the water boils, add the asparagus and bring back to a boil. The asparagus should cook quickly if the spears are thin, do not overcook. Pull out one of the small pieces to eat to determine the doneness. Remember it is good to undercook slightly as the spears will continue to cook even after running under cold water. When happy with the texture, drain the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately run under cold water to cool off the spears. Drain completely and set aside.
Drizzle with dressing and serve
Plate the asparagus so the spears are facing in the same direction. Drizzle the dressing over and serve!
Can be made ahead…
Store the asparagus and the dressing separately in the refrigerator if not eating immediately. Pull out the asparagus before serving and allow it to warm up closer to room temperature. And just before serving, drizzle the asparagus with the dressing.
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