I remember a time when I was teaching English at my aunt’s KUMON centre some years ago. I worked there during every summer holiday I had as a university student. While I was looking for a job after graduating, I worked there full time for almost another year.
During those days, I found myself learning together with my “students”. I could hardly consider them my students. I was so young, so inexperienced. And besides, we had answer guides. But I think my interest in some form of classic English literature budded during those summer months. I began picking up books and reading Little Women, The Swiss Robinson Family, Jane Eyre..
I also learnt a lot through comprehension passages that I had to guide students through. Little nuggets here and there. Did you know the brushes-like contraption whales have for teeth are called baleen? Also, did you know that there is a strange Dr Seuss book all about colourful dogs living on a tree? And did you know that asparagus grows out from the ground just the way they are looking like green candles sticking out from the ground? News to me! (Pardon my ignorance. I was young. Though, I still don’t know a lot of things. Ancora Imparo!)
That little fact about asparagus stuck with me all these years, however random it may seem. It wasn’t until recently when I saw Jamie Oliver plucking some off his garden that I finally put visual to word. What an interesting vegetable! And boy do we love it here.
I can’t seem to get beautiful fresh asparagus all the time. More often than not, they’re either broken, bruised or already mushy by the time I find them. But on the rare occasions I do get some nice looking ones, I like to prepare them as simple as possible to preserve their freshness. And perhaps also pay homage to how simply they came into being. No grandeur. No plomp. Just a stalk of delicious delicious freshness out of the ground.
If all you can muster up at the end of the evening is this dish, you pretty much have a full meal there with some rice. Veggies and protein all in a plate.
What is your favourite way to prepare asparagus?
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
- 1 bunch Asparagus, appx 1 lbs
- 1 small Onion (or Shallot), peeled & thinly sliced
- 1 clove Garlic, peeled & minced
- 1 cube Firm Tofu, cubed
- ½ tbsp Fish Sauce (to taste)
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Prepare asparagus by clicking off the woody ends. You do this by holding both ends of the asparagus with your finger tips and bend the asparagus. Where it breaks off at the root end indicates that the lower parts of the stalk is woody and cannot be eaten. Then slice the tender parts at a bias angle for quicker & more even cooking.
- In a pan, heat up the oil on MED HIGH.
- Saute onion & garlic for 1 minute.
- Toss in asparagus pieces and stir for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add cubed tofu & fish sauce. Continue to stirfry everything until the tofu has warmed up.
- Dish up & serve!