Does anybody else think Asian Fusion is an overused and unappealing culinary term? There is something about it that recalls horrific memories of teriyaki chicken burgers, beef sushi, and hoisin sauce being present on every menu.
Well… it’s back.
So then, all negative associations aside I hope you will have an open mind for this easy asparagus recipe with a blend of French and South Asian flavours. The salty fish sauce and the crunchy brown shallots contrast with the biting mustard, tart lemon juice and pungent asparagus to produce a well balanced dish.
If you aren’t familiar with fried shallots, they are an ingredient and garnish used frequently in South East Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese. In fact, so many dishes require fried shallots that they are available for purchase on their own. However, if you can’t find them, frying shalllots yourself takes almost no time if you know how to deep fry.
So if you are looking for a different asparagus recipe try this Thai inspired one! What do you think, is asian fusion a dirty word?
Asparagus with Fried Shallots(serves 2)
Remove the skin from the shallot and slice into thin rings. Heat 2 cups of oil in a heavy pot to 350F. Fry shallots until brown and crispy, transfer to a paper towel to let cool and dry. This part can be done ahead.
Whisk together mustard, fish sauce, lemon juice, and a bunch of freshly ground pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add a couple of the shallots to allow the flavours to combine and set aside.
Wash the asparagus and remove the woody ends. Put in a steamer basket with an inch worth of salted water. Bring water to a boil and steam asparagus until just softening but with a bit of a bite. The timing will vary depending on the size of your asparagus, but somewhere between 3 and 8 minutes.
Remove asparagus from steamer and immediately toss with dressing. Serve with fried shallots on top.
Note: you could also grill or roast your asparagus and then toss them with the dressing.