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Spring Vegetable Stir-Fry

To remove the tough, woody ends of the asparagus, grasp each spear near the cut end with both hands and bend it until it snaps. It will break naturally at the point where the fibrous, inedible portion starts. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the spears into pieces as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, spears cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions:

Parboil the vegetables
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and sugar snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. About 10 seconds before draining, add the peas to cook them briefly. Drain the vegetables in a colander.

Make the sauce
In a small bowl, combine the water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and cornstarch and stir to dissolve the cornstarch.

Stir-fry the vegetables
Warm a wok or large fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 1 Tbs. of the corn oil. Add the leek and ginger and stir-fry until the leek is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. corn oil, the asparagus, sugar snap peas and peas and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and stir until it thickens, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with steamed rice. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).