The Genius Way David Chang Puts Asparagus To Double Use In A Recipe

Chef David Chang is serving asparagus on top of asparagus in a recipe shared with Food & Wine and we are here for it. It might seem redundant, but pouring delicate asparagus sauce over sautéed asparagus spears enhances the earthy-tasting vegetable's flavor; The sauce's sweetness balances the nutty and slightly bitter taste of the asparagus perfectly.

Chang has gotten creative with asparagus in other recipes, like his famous Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter, which is more of a main course than a side dish. While the "Momofuku: A Cookbook" recipe calls for white miso paste to deliver an umami flavor that is sweet and nutty, his Pan-Roasted Asparagus in Asparagus Sauce recipe uses an ultra-sugary ingredient to pump up the sweetness: Pure maple syrup. The sweet sauce is the perfect mask for those who find asparagus too bitter. Kids will eat anything covered in syrup, right? 

How to make an asparagus sauce for your asparagus

To make this sweet and savory dish, Chang blends asparagus and water into a puree, then pushes it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to rid it of any remaining fibers. Next, he sautés peeled asparagus for about two minutes, adds butter and the strained asparagus sauce, and cooks it until tender (another two to three minutes). After transferring the sautéed asparagus to a plate, the maple syrup and sherry vinegar are added to the skillet and seasoned with salt; The final steps are spooning the sauce over the asparagus and topping it with almonds.

Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, green beans, celery, squash, and pumpkin are just some of the vegetables that can be pureed and used as a tasty sauce. The secret to getting a smooth, creamy puree, particularly when using fibrous vegetables like asparagus or celery, is to use a sieve or fine mesh strainer after blending. You can use a spatula to push the puree through the sieve, straining out any fibrous bits. Another option is to boil your veggies beforehand to make them easier to blend.