Beautiful grilled asparagus spears with an Asian sweet and spicy sauce are the perfect side dish!
- 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (red chili paste)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus spears for 2 to 3 minutes. Quickly transfer the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set on paper towels to dry. Sprinkle the asparagus with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, brown sugar, and ginger. Set aside.
- In a medium frying pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, stirring for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the shallots, bell peppers, and almonds to the pan, and sauté for 2 minutes. Keep on low heat. Add in the liquid mixture and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat or keep on very low.
- Spray a heavy grill pan with cooking spray and set on medium high heat. Grill the asparagus spears until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes, making sure to rotate the spears for even cooking. Place the asparagus on a serving tray and drizzle with the veggie mixture. Garnish with more sliced almonds and sprinkles of chopped cilantro.
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