Asparagus Snap, Wash, Cook
Fast Food at its Best
How do I choose the best asparagus?
Look for firm, fresh, spears with compact tips. Avoid spears that appear limp or dehydrated, or with tips that are slimy and smelly. Always buy spears that look the freshest. Although spears with white woody stems may not look as nice, or be as economical as all green stems, they may be the better buy for quality, freshness and shelf life. Larger diameter spears are tenderer.
How should asparagus be prepared?
Snap off the woody part from the stem by holding each spear by its ends (tip & bottom) and bending gently. The spear will snap at the woody part. Cook the top end of spear. With a little further preparation the green end of the base can also be eaten. For instance, add to a stock for a vegetable soup base. Wash well.
Can asparagus be peeled?
Asparagus does not have to be peeled but some people prefer it that way.
For those who wish to peel the stalk use a potato or vegetable peeler. Cut off any white stem and peel the skin from the stalk towards the base end only.
Can asparagus be eaten raw?
Asparagus is best eaten when cooked to a tender crisp. Cooking ensures good safe hygiene practices.
How long do I boil asparagus?
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add snapped and washed asparagus tips. For a crisp and tender result, bring back to the boil and drain within 1 to 3 minutes. For a softer spear, boil for 4 to 6 minutes or until the bottom end of the spear can be pierced easily with a sharp pointed knife.
How do I keep cooked asparagus green for salads?
To retain the lovely asparagus green colour of crisp boiled asparagus, plunge cooked and drained asparagus spears immediately into iced cold water. Store covered in refrigerator until ready for use.
How long do I steam asparagus?
In regular steamers place the snapped and washed spears in the steamer and replace lid. In deep steamers stand the asparagus in an upright position. Stalks can be fastened into a bundle using kitchen string or a band of foil. Cover and cook until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Spears should be tender but crunchy.
How long should asparagus be micro waved?
Place snapped and washed asparagus in a microwavable baking dish or serving bowl. If cooking whole spears, arrange with tips in centre. Water clinging to washed spears should be adequate for cooking. Cover tightly. For spears, microwave at 100% power for 4 to 6 minutes, 3 to 5 minutes for cuts and tips. Stir or turn halfway through cooking time. Back to top
How long should asparagus be stir-fried?
Cut washed spears diagonally in 2 cm pieces, leaving tips whole. Stir-fry pieces in butter or hot oil, in a skillet or wok at medium high heat. Stir constantly until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
How should asparagus be BBQ d?
Lay snapped and washed spears onto double layer of cooking foil, spay or sprinkle on a little oil, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold foil to form a secure parcel, place on BBQ. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes turning every now and again. Check for tenderness after 5 minutes.
How should asparagus be char-grilled?
Wash and snap asparagus. Place asparagus on pre-heated grill and lightly brush with oil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes turning every now and again.
How should asparagus be stored?
Keep fresh asparagus clean, cold and covered. Trim the stem ends about 2 cm and wash in water. Pat dry and place in a plastic bag or plastic container, store in the crisper section of refrigerator. Use within 2 or 3 days for best quality. To maintain freshness, wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends, or stand upright in 5 cm of cold water. Back to top