Kitchen Basics

How to Prepare and Cook Asparagus

How to Prepare and Cook Asparagus

How to Prepare and Cook Asparagus

When buying, choose fresh asparagus without broken spears. 

Commonly available green, purple (which turning green during cooking), and white (which grows under the soil) asparagus.

After harvesting asparagus continues ‘growing’ and consuming its sugars (about 4% content when just harvested).

That’s why it’s important to use fresh ones when possible. 

When asparagus (especially white) has been harvested a while ago, soak them in cold water with 10% sugar before cooking.

According to your recipe and preferences choose fine, medium, or large size. I am talking about the thickness of the steams.

Always wash asparagus before cooking!

The further from the tip, the tougher tissue in a stalk. To find that perfect border between unsoftenable base and tender part bend asparagus till it snaps. Repeat with all or use one as an example. Usually from the same bunch, the edible part will be the same (roughly)

Also depends on the thickness you should peel asparagus (white always). As peel contain some tough tissue.

Don’t throw away the peel and bottom parts of asparagus. They are perfect for stocks, soups or sauces. Also, you can freeze them for later use.

As for cooking methods, it all depends on what and when you will use asparagus for. Thin stems require very brief cooking (minute or two). Those are my preferred cooking methods for each colour and size:

1. Boiling in salted water (for immediate) or blanching (for later use). When blanching, cook al dente and refresh in iced water. White asparagus should be boiled or blanched in water with 5% sugar. That method is good for all sizes. Go see when asparagus is cooked just taste it. 

Then you will know roughly cooking times according to YOUR taste.

Mine are – thin green 2 min, medium green 3-4 min, thick green 5 min, medium and thick white – best to check with inserting the tip of the knife to the toughest part.

2. Pan or stir-frying (in olive oil, butter, etc). You can add some garlic, chili, herbs, spices, parmesan, jamón, etc. And serve it as it is or as garnish for your protein part of the dish. This method I apply normally to fine and up to medium-sized green asparagus.

3. Roast in the oven or grill under the salamander. This method is for medium to large green asparagus.

4. For grilling on BBQ I prefer to use medium and thick green, as it’s easier to handle them there. 

You can also pickle, steam, and even eat asparagus raw.

If you bought asparagus and are still not ready to cook it, keep it in the fridge with root ends wrapped in some dump tissue.

Asparagus season is the only couple of months in the year, so use those time to enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *