Even though you can buy asparagus any time of the year, there is nothing quite like
what you’ll find in the springtime when asparagus is in its prime, with wonderfully crisp spears and a fresh, grassy aroma. If you can, grab a bunch of thin spears, which are quicker cooking and more tender. And like any stir-fry, this one comes together in a flash, so have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking.
Asparagus and Mushroom Stir-Fry Bowls [Vegan]
1 cup (175 g) brown basmati rice
2 1/4 cups (600 ml) water, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons (30 ml) avocado or extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (455 g) mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, oyster, and maitake, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
8 ounces (225 g) sliced water chestnuts
3/4 cup (105 g) unsalted toasted cashews, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon (9 g) toasted black sesame seeds, plus more for topping
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Add the rice, 2 cups (480 ml) of the water, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and steam the rice with the lid on for 5 minutes.
Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon (23 ml) of the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
Pour the remaining 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) of oil into the pan. Add the asparagus, season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts, cashews, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry for 1 minute longer.
Stir together the sauce once more to dissolve the cornstarch. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
To serve, divide the rice among four bowls, top with the stir-fry, and sprinkle with more toasted sesame seeds.
Get a head start! | The rice can be cooked a day in advance and reheated before serving.
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