My mom sucked at cooking asparagus. It’s more like my dad actually. He liked vegetables well done (ugh) and she cooked them the way he liked. I didn’t questioned why my dad liked vegetables cooked that way but I never liked it. He almost eats anything raw. Fish, beef, chicken, beans and so forth. I always thought asparagus tasted like wilted old grass when I was a kid because of this. I was never a fan until I was in my early 20’s.
My friend Rika and I went out to eat and drink a lot. We explored the culinary wonderland of Tokyo. We ate French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Ramen, Cuban, German, Hawaiian, Greek, Jamaican, Burger, Pizza, Cajun…you name it. One day I saw her eating asparagus raw. I had never met anyone who eats asparagus raw until then. Light bulb moment. Ah! Why the hell didn’t I think of that?? I don’t even have to cook it! Since that moment on, I haven’t cooked my asparagus until they get wilted. Never.
It is spring. My favorite farmers market vendors sell precious green asparagus. They are beautiful. Now this is my favorite way of cooking asparagus – lightly sautée in a bit of olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice. These green stalks have such an ear pleasing snap sound as you bite into them.
Two interesting lessons from my dad and my friend. Dad, I am sorry but this is how I cook asparagus and I hope you would like it someday.