Grilled Asparagus in Tsuyu Stock
TheGreenTurnip Score: 8 ♡
I started this project to cook all the recipes in my Japanese salad cookbook with a lot of strict conditions for myself. I had to:
- cook all the recipes from beginning to end
- make enough of the recipe to eat for a week, and eat all of it
- only make each recipe once
Mostly… I have kept my rules. However, the last condition about not repeating recipes has completely fallen apart. I keep coming back to my favorite recipes. Now we have weeks of “favorites,” where I just make the recipes that scored well. This recipe earned an “8” and a little pencil heart in the cookbook.
Yum! Not so beautiful but so good. I come back to make this salad over and over and over.
The original recipe requires just 3 ingredients – asparagus, tsuyu stock, and red pepper. In the US, it is hard to find premade bottled tsuyu stock, so the recipe list grows a little, but still the recipe is wonderfully simple and delicious. Tsuyu stock is a rich concentrated stock common to Japanese cooking. I make a simplified version that uses ingredients easy to find outside Japan.
This salad is really a favorite. The flavor gets better and better as the week goes on. The best flavor is at day 3 or 4. So resist the temptation to eat it all the first night!
This recipe makes enough for a week’s worth of small portions for 1 person (about 10 small portions). I would recommend using a longish container that fits the asparagus comfortably. Or snap the stalks in half to fit into a smaller container.
Asparagus, 1 bunch
Tsuyu stock, Several cups
Dried red pepper, 1 pepper
- To make the tsuyu stock, cook 1/4 cup of sake over low heat to burn off some alcohol. Add ½ cup of mirin, ½ cup of soy sauce, and a dash of dried dashi powder (I use Hondashi. It is a classic.). Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.
Let the alcohol boil off… Then add the rest of the ingredients!
- After cooling, taste the stock. Dilute with water to taste. I recommend a 1:1 ratio of stock and water (for example, 1 cup stock with 1 cup water). Pour the diluted stock into your storage container and add the dried red pepper.
Rich savory tsuyu stock… Dilute to taste with water and pour into a container for storage.
- Clean and snap the ends off the asparagus. (Snap in half again, if needed to fit the container.) Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Under the broiler, grill the asparagus until slightly browned. While still hot, place the asparagus directly into the tsuyu stock. Let cool. Cover and store.
After grilling, the stalks are tender and just starting to brown.
Adapted from “焼きアスパラガスのおひたし.”