Asparagus (卢笋）tops my list of premium vegetables. There are two common varieties that I can find in the local market, all imported, from Thailand and Australia respectively. If I were given a choice, I prefer the ones from Australia for its better taste. However, its price can stretch my weekly budget. Hence, I would normally buy them only when they are in season when prices can drop by half. Otherwise, I will opt for the more economical Thai asparagus.
Asparagus is best consumed immediately after purchase. But, there are some suggested tips to maintain its freshness for longer storage from this link.
I introduced asparagus to my son before he turned one and it remains as one of his favourite vegetables ever since. He enjoys eating asparagus even though I just blanched or steamed them.
There are many ways to cook asparagus. For examples: stir-frying, grilling, roasting, steaming etc. Which one is your prefer method? On days when I am in a rush, I like to stir-fry as I can easily combine asparagus with some other ingredients to come up with a one-dish meal just like the recipe I am featuring in this post.
The seasonings used in this recipe are very simple and easily available. They also work well for other Chinese stir-fry dishes too. I always refer to this combination as my basic seasoning in most of my Chinese cooking. So far, it has never disappointed me as all my stir-fried dishes have turned out to be very delicious. For a start, if you are new in Chinese cooking, these seasonings are very useful. Do give it a try!
Fun facts about asparagus:
- Asparagus is sometimes referred to as the “food of kings,” and the “aristocrat” of vegetables. (Too good to be true! I am sure my “Emperor” will like this fact.)
- Cultivation of asparagus began over 2,000 years ago.
- King Louis XIV of France loved Asparagus so much he had special greenhouses built, so he could enjoy the vegetable year-round.
- Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in folic acid. It is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
- Asparagus has no fat, contains no cholesterol and is low in sodium.
- The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
- Edible asparagus comes in three colors – green, purple and white. Green asparagus is the most common variety.
- White asparagus, which is very popular in France, is rarely available in supermarkets. It is grown in the dark so they can’t produce chlorophyll, which gives asparagus its green color.
Updated on 26 Sept 2009
Below is a wonderful fact contributed by Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite:
“Asparagus contain glutathione, which is considered one of the body’s most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants. In some proven cases, blended boiled asparagus has been used in the Asparagus Diet Therapy for cancer treatment and it had shown positive results.”
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