05/06/2015 09:05 BST | Updated 04/06/2016 06:59 BST

Stir-fried Asparagus With Peas


A friend said to me recently: "Oh, asparagus, lovely when it first arrives but then you get bored with it, don't you?"

Um, no, actually. I can eat industrial quantities of asparagus and I never get fed up with it, literally or figuratively. I do like to ring the changes with the way I cook it though.

Mostly we eat it steamed, with or without lashings of butter; tossed in a little oil and roasted; in soups, frittatas and risottos; and occasionally wrapped in pancakes.

But the other day I made this stir-fry on the wing, as it were, to go with a spiced duck dish and it was so good I thought it was worth sharing. The grassy taste of the asparagus works well with the sweetness of the peas and onions and the chilli gives zing to the thing.

Stir-fried Asparagus with Peas (serves 2 as a side dish)



6-8 asparagus stalks

A small bunch of spring onions

A couple of big handfuls of peas (frozen are fine)

Toasted sesame oil

Malay chilli and garlic oil (or a little chopped fresh chilli)

A dash of soy sauce



Bend the washed asparagus stems until they snap and discard the woody ends (save them for a stock if you like). Slice at an angle into 3cm slices. Trim the spring onions and slice on the diagonal.

In a wok, heat a teaspoon each of toasted sesame oil and chilli and shallot oil (or extra sesame oil). Stir-fry the asparagus first as it takes longer than you might think. After a couple of minutes throw in the spring onions.

Once both are cooked to your liking add the peas and stir-fry for a minute or two longer - fresh peas will take a bit longer than frozen. If you're using fresh chilli, add it with the peas.

Now add a small splash of soy sauce, let it bubble up and boil off a little, and stir well to coat the vegetables. Serve immediately.