The Recipes

Fried Asparagus Spears

I was inspired while I was out working in California to make fried asparagus.  The asparagus in San Joaquin County is amazingly good, so even though it's out of season, I just had to try my hand at this.

Fried Asparagus Spears

Ingredients:

- 10 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 T. chili paste or sambal olek
- salt
- pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- splash of rice wine vinegar
- 3-4 c. of peanut or vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with the dash of vinegar.  Start whisking and slowly drip in the olive oil until it starts to emulsify.  Once you have a base, stream in the olive oil as you whisk.  Stir in the chili paste and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside. *Note: You can use 1/4 c. of store-bough mayonnaise instead of making an aioli.

Heat the oil in a pan large enough to accommodate the asparagus to 375 degrees.  Set up a breading station with three shallow plates or bowls.

In the first, combine the flour with the cayenne and season with salt and pepper.  The second should have the egg, again seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.  The third should have the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

Pass the spears through each bowl, starting with the flour - make sure to knock off any excess before passing through the egg and breadcrumb mixture.  Slide the spears into the oil and fry for just a few minutes; until they turn golden-brown.  Remove them and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.  Season immediately with salt.

Serve the asparagus with the dipping sauce you made.