I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this asparagus stir-fry now. It came to be as many all of my stir-fries come to be. Staring in the fridge, wondering what on earth to cook for dinner – half because I’m being indecisive, and half because the selection of ingredients makes me feel like I’m on my own personal version of Iron Chef.
Except no one would ever make a stir-fry on Iron Chef because just wouldn’t fly. But, my kitchen is not kitchen stadium, and I can almost always count on enough bits and pieces to put together some kind of stir-fry.
This recipe is simple and fresh. And, with a little kick, if you want to go that route. It uses sambal olek to add some heat. One thing to know about sambal is that a little goes a looooong way. I learned that lesson that hard way. In this recipe I used 1/4 teaspoon for a small to moderate amount of spice, though you can certainly use more to make it spicier. You can also substitute crushed red pepper flakes. And, if spicy food just ins’t your thing, that’s totally okay too, you can omit the sambal altogether.
When I made this dinner recently, it was the first time I’ve had brown rice in a really long time. I forgot how much I love it. And so, I recommend serving this stir-fry with a healthy portion of brown rice. Though, if you prefer, basmati rice, jamine rice, quinoa, or freekeh also make a nice side.
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sambal olek*
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt, and move around the pan to coat with oil. Cook, shaking the pan or stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms started to lightly crisp around the edges, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and samba olek, and cook for another minute. Add the asparagus to the pan and stir to combine, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the asparagus starts to soften. Stir in the tofu and spinach. Cook for another 3 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the tofu is heated though. Mix in the soy and hoisin sauces, the remove the pan from the heat, stir in the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
* you can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
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