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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I went to a great Japanese restaurant called Shogun. I did a review of them here on the blog. The first time I went, one of the things that I had and loved was the beef wrapped asparagus. I ended up getting a craving for it, so we figured out how to make it at home.
Well, we sort of fudged it. The ones at the restaurant had asparagus that was tempura battered and fried. We haven’t figured out how to do battered fried goods yet, so we had to skip that part. It’s not a big deal though, skipping the batter and frying cuts out a lot of the fat and calories. It’s healthier, but it still tastes great.
This is actually really simple to make. All you need is fresh asparagus, some thin steak, a sauce, and some toothpicks.
First, steam the asparagus in a steamer basket until it’s almost done. Leave it a little underdone so it can finish in the oven. Don’t boil the asparagus! Boiled asparagus is nasty, and it leeches the nutrition out of it. If you don’t have a steamer you can cook the asparagus in a frying pan with just a little butter or spread until it’s nearly done. Make sure to remove the woody end before cooking. When they’re ready, cut each stalk into halves or thirds depending on how long they are. We’re going for a size you can put in your mouth without cutting it.
Next you’ll take that thin beef and cut it into pieces. You want to make strips long enough to wrap around three pieces of asparagus and wide enough to cover almost the whole length. Once you get a piece cut right, use it as a guide to cut the rest of the meat.
Wrap the meat around the asparagus and secure it with a toothpick. Set all of your wraps into a baking dish.
Now for your sauce. The first time we used a bottled hoisin sauce, which is fine, but later we did it again and made a sauce from scratch. Use whatever you prefer. Hoisin, sweet chili sauce, or whatever flavor you like. A thick sauce is better though. You don’t want something that will just drip off. Sticky sauces are the best for this, so something with honey is really good.
Dip each of the wraps in your sauce and put them back in the baking dish. When they’re all done you’ll put it in the oven at about 350° just long enough to get the meat cooked. Don’t overcook it, or the meat will be tough. Keep an eye on it and take them out as soon as the meat is brown.
That’s it! They’re pretty easy, and so good! You can do variations too, like wrapped carrots. You can use different meat as well. Chicken or thin pork would work. Have some fun with it!