Snappy Steamed Asparagus and Broccoli in Sweet Dashi Stock

TheGreenTurnip Score: 8

This salad is refreshing and light, perfect for spring picnics or warm summer days. The vegetables are steamed and then soaked in a slightly sweet stock flavored with sesame oil. For extra sesame flavor, sprinkle with lightly toasted sesame seeds.

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I know it might sound like this salad would get super soggy. But I guarantee you…

Even after 5 days of soaking, the vegetables don’t get mushy! Just quickly cook the asparagus and broccoli in boiling water and then submerge in icy cold water (or under a running faucet). Blanching stops the cooking immediately and keeps a fresh, crisp snap in the vegetables! Plus, this technique also preserves the bright green color to make this salad super vibrant.

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Feel free to substitute!

The original stock recipe is made with powdered fish broth (or “dashi”). If you prefer, you can easily substitute homemade chicken broth or bouillon cubes.

In fact, this recipe holds up extremely well to generous substitution!

I used to make fun of my mom for substituting liberally but it seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree. The last time I made this recipe, I substituted for almost every key ingredient and it turned out beautifully! First I realized that I did not have powdered fish dashi stock. Ah well! I have chicken bouillon cubes. Tasted great! Oops! I also did not have mirin. That’s fine, a little extra sugar and a little extra soy sauce. Yum.

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If you have access to an Asian market, I would suggest an even more dramatic substitution. If you can find a bottle of “ponzu” sauce, I think you could easily use that in place of the stock! Ponzu is a soy sauce based sauce flavored with citrus. It makes an amazing cold noodle salad and would be great on these vegetables too.

I love this recipe for days when I want a generous serving of vegetables and I don’t want to spend long in the kitchen. The salad is ready in a flash and adds a wonderful cheerful pop of green to my lunchbox all week long! Enjoy.

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This recipe makes enough for a week’s worth of small portions for 1 person (about 10 small portions).

Ingredients

Asparagus, 1 bunch

Broccoli, 1 crown

Salt, to taste

Powdered dashi stock, ½ teaspoon

Sugar, 1 tablespoon

Mirin, 3 tablespoons

Soy Sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons

Sesame Oil, 1 tablespoon

  1. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Snap the tough part off the bottom of the asparagus. Cut the stalks in half.
  1. Put 1-2 inches of water into a large pot. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil. (If you have a steamer basket, use it. Otherwise, just stir!) Steam the broccoli for 1-2 minutes. The broccoli should be slightly cooked but still with a snap. Remove and immediately chill in cold water. Repeat with the asparagus.
  1. In a small pot, bring 2 ½ cups of water to a simmer. Add powdered dashi stock (I use the “Hondashi” brand), sugar, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir and let simmer until the sugar dissolves. Taste, and add more salt as needed.
  1. Pour the stock into the storage container. Add the asparagus and broccoli. Stir to coat the veggies in the stock. Cover and store.

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Adapted from “アスパラ、ブロコリー、おいもの和風サラダ” from “作り置きサラダ”.

Want to learn more about simple, Japanese-inspired weekly meal prep? Read “What is Make Now & Eat Later”

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Come back on Monday! New recipes and musings on Japan posted here every week.

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3 thoughts on “Snappy Steamed Asparagus and Broccoli in Sweet Dashi Stock

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