Pan-Seared Asparagus with Shitake Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce
This dish falls into the asparagus comfort food category in my mind. Its flavors are sweet, salty, and deep. The mushrooms help it feel satisfying and filling. But the star is the asparagus. Fresh yet tender, and with grassy notes that are elevated by the burst of umami flavor from the oyster sauce, this is an asparagus celebration.
1 lb asparagus
2 tbs oyster sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tbs water
¼ tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
½ lb mushrooms, sliced (shiitake are my favorite, but buttons work fine too)
3 tbs vegetable oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger slice peeled and minced
Fresh cracked black pepper
Cut asparagus into 2 inch long pieces. Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and sesame oil until cornstarch is well dissolved. Set this seasoning sauce aside. Heat skillet to high and put a cup of water by the skillet (for thinning the sauce later if you need to). Heat 1 tbs oil in a nonstick skillet set on high heat. Add shallots and asparagus. Stir the vegetables around for about 5-7 minutes. You are looking to get some nice browning on the edges.
Taste a bit as you go to make sure they get tender, but still have a little bite. Remove from pan to a bowl or plate. Heat 1 tbs oil and add mushrooms and some pepper. Stir mushrooms around on dry heat without adding any liquid. The mushrooms should shrink up and become browned. Add asparagus back to pan. Turn heat down to medium. Add 1 tbs more of oil and add garlic and ginger. Once you can smell the garlic, quickly add seasoning sauce. Stir to coat all vegetables in sauce. The sauce will reduce rapidly. You can add another tablespoon or two of water if you need to distribute the sauce better. Enjoy with brown rice, if desired.
About the Chef
Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.