The purpose of cooking asparagus is to bring it to a soft, crunchy state where it is soft enough to chew, but no longer soggy. Here's how to cook asparagus on the stove - steam, fry and boil it.
- 450 g fresh asparagus
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
Part 1 of 4: Preparation
Step 1. Peel the asparagus
Rinse the asparagus under warm running water. Rub gently with your fingers to remove dirt.
Alternatively, place the asparagus in a colander and rinse the entire bunch at once. Shake the colander gently, as if stirring the asparagus, and the dirt will be washed off
Step 2. Break off the bases
Remove the woody white part of each asparagus by breaking or cutting it off.
- To break off with your hand, hold the asparagus firmly in one hand about 2.5 cm from the end of the white part. Grab the white end with your other hand and pull it down sharply.
- To cut off the tip, use a sharp serrated knife and saw off the white part of the asparagus.
Step 3. Slice the asparagus
Use a serrated knife to slice the asparagus into 5 cm sections, cutting each asparagus pod at a slight angle.
Part 2 of 4: Steam Cooking
Step 1. Boil water in a large saucepan
Fill a large saucepan with water (about 5 cm). Place it on the stove over medium heat.
Do not use too much water. You need enough water to create steam, but you don't need the water to touch the asparagus or the bottom of the colander
Step 2. Place the asparagus in a colander
Try to use a colander that fits over the edges of the pot.
- A colander that sinks into the pot is ideal, but make sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the pot or the water inside.
- A small wire basket, such as a deep fryer basket, can also be used as a colander as it is made of food grade metal.
- Do not use another saucepan. The container where you place the asparagus should have holes in the base to let the steam through.
Step 3. Place the colander in the pot
Cover the saucepan.
Use aluminum foil if you don't have a lid or it doesn't cover the colander well. Pinch the foil around the colander to seal. Otherwise, steam may escape through the cover
Step 4. Cook until tender
This usually takes about 5-6 minutes.
Leave the lid on while the asparagus is cooking. The steam must remain "locked up"
Step 5. Remove the asparagus and serve
Lift the lid of the pot and colander back to avoid steam burns. Remove the colander and place the asparagus on a platter.
- Use gloves when lifting the colander to avoid scalding.
- Use tongs to remove the aluminum foil in place of the lid.
- Season with oil and salt. Sprinkle the asparagus with salt on a platter and stir with a heat-resistant spoon.
Part 3 of 4: Frying
Step 1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet
Add oil to the skillet before placing on the fire. Heat the oil for 1-2 minutes.
- You can also use butter or any other vegetable oil in place of olive oil.
- If you have one, use a wok skillet. A frying pan with low sides is much better than a frying pan with high sides.
Step 2. Add asparagus and cook
Place the asparagus in the skillet, adding the pieces slowly to avoid oil splashes that could burn you. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes.
- Use a heat-resistant spatula to stir the asparagus.
- It is very important to stir the asparagus to prevent the asparagus from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When the asparagus is cooked, it should be soft and crispy. Insert a fork into the thickest piece. If she enters calmly, then the asparagus is ready. However, do not leave the asparagus soggy.
Step 3. Season with salt at the last minute
Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and continue stirring to distribute the seasoning evenly.
Step 4. Remove from heat and serve
Turn off heat and place asparagus on a platter.
- Use a slotted spatula or slotted spoon to remove excess fat when transferring the asparagus to the platter.
- Alternatively, remove excess oil by placing the asparagus in a colander. If you don't have a colander, hold the lid over the pan itself, leaving a small hole. Pour the oil through the hole into the sink.
Part 4 of 4: Cooking
Step 1. Boil water in a medium saucepan
Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Let the water reach a boiling boil. Large bubbles should appear on the surface of the water.
- Don't overfill the pot. If you fill the pot too much, water may spill out onto the stove or your skin during the boil.
- Do not add too little water to the pot. You need enough water to cover the asparagus when you add it.
- You can also use a wide saucepan, but the larger the saucepan, the longer it will take to boil and the more difficult it will be to adjust the temperature.
Step 2. Add salt to the water
Adding salt to the water before cooking allows the asparagus to season while cooking.
Alternatively, you can add salt to the asparagus after cooking, but the asparagus itself will have less flavor
Step 3. Add asparagus and cook over low heat
Reduce heat to medium to medium-low so that bubbles appear in the water, but it no longer boils too much. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly and carefully add the asparagus chunks to the water to avoid splashes.
- Start counting the time as soon as you have added all the asparagus to the water.
Step 4. Drain the water
Pour the contents of the pot into a colander to drain off the water.
Step 5. Stir the asparagus with the oil before serving
Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and add the olive oil. Stir with two large spoons.
- You can also use butter and any other vegetable oil.
- If you salt the asparagus after cooking, add salt as you add the oil.
Add additional seasonings and dressings to taste. Add flavor to the asparagus after cooking. Condiments commonly used to taste include:
- French dressing based on vinegar
- Vinegar-based balsamic dressing
- Lemon juice or lemon zest
- Garlic powder or garlic salt
- Red or black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Hollandaise sauce