Weekday Vegetarian: Asparagus Namul

weekday vegetarian raw asparagus photo

Photo Credit: Emma Alter

I get vegetarian diets, I get vegan diets, but I'm not sure I really get a raw diet. I know there are lots of people who swear by it, and I expect to hear from some of you in the comments, but I remain skeptical. It may simply be that it is just unfamiliar to me as a way of food preparation. I have this new cookbook Ani's Raw Food Asia by Ani Phyo and I've been looking through it and have found a bunch of interesting things that I want to try out. I made this asparagus namul, which is a seasoned vegetable side dish served with most meals in Korea.The recipe says you can eat it immediately or let it soften for 30 minutes or so, which is what I did. We had it with a vegan tofu dish (recipe coming for that tomorrow), a mango salad and a green salad. Everybody agreed that it was delicious, and it was very attractive as well. I had a lot of asparagus ends left over from pickling some the other day, and it was perfect for this recipe. I just used the thinner spears, assuming that they would be more tender than the thicker spears. Apparently you are supposed to mix it together with your hands, but for the record, I used a spoon.

Asparagus Namul

2 cups sliced asparagus, cut diagonally into 3/4 inch lengths
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Nama Shoyu (or low sodium soy sauce)
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp chile flakes

1. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Use your hands (you can wear gloves if you prefer) to coat the asparagus and mix well. Serve immediately or set aside to marinate and allow the asparagus to wilt and soften for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator.

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