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holy asparagus

Thi N. Apr 2, 2002 03:28 PM

Farmer's Market tip: best asparagus I've yet had. Guy from San Joaquin Delta (?) Farms, (big sign, says San Joaquin something something) with a little handwritten sign that promises that he has the best asparagus in the market. I can actually substantiate this claim, at least within my own taste-world, because I have actually tried every single asparagus vendor in the Hollywood Market. No kiddin. I'm on a rampage. I think he goes to other markets.

Beautiful, immense, deeply flavored asparagus. Made a friend of mine cry last night with the asparagus. No kiddin.

Best way of prepping this fast: either the brown-for-one-minute-in-butter-than-slow-braise-for-ten-minutes-and-serve-with-salt-and-butter, or my current favorite, from the F. Willinger book, pan-roast in olive oil on high until brown, then on low until tender, serve with salt and lemon.



  1. r
    Raul Apr 9, 2002 08:59 PM

    Best asparagus in LA, can be found at Nanbankan. Served on a skewer it's delicious.

    1. c
      chamoudi Apr 4, 2002 08:04 PM

      Was this the guy from Zuckerman Farms - he had 4 kinds of asparagus - regular, thin, jumbo and purple. He was at the Thousand Oaks market today and I bought 3 pounds.

      1. s
        Stan Apr 3, 2002 07:59 PM

        They were at the Santa Monica market this morning. I told them about the recommendation on the Internet, and they were incredulous. I also bought three pounds of their asparagus (for five dollars if you can believe that). I'll be making it into curry tomorrow.

        1. f
          FED Apr 3, 2002 11:21 AM

          absolute best way to cook fat asparagus (at least that's what i'm thinking right now): Peel and cut off tough stems. put them in a large skillet in as close to a single layer as possible. add about 1/2 cup of water and a big knob of butter (or about 2 tbs really good olive oil). Bring to a boil, covered over high heat and cook, shaking the pan to keep everything moving, until the asparagus is quite tender, about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the moisture has evaporated. what you're left with will be a reduction of asparagus juice and butter/oil that will glaze the asparagus. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. absolute heaven.

          1. m
            mc michael Apr 3, 2002 10:44 AM

            Looks like a lot of 'hounds are peeing green.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mc michael
              Chino "Jim" Wayne Apr 4, 2002 01:11 PM

              Hell, I can do that without asparagus...

            2. t
              Thi N. Apr 3, 2002 12:10 AM

              IN reply to other suggested recipes:

              Yes, I love the oven roasting method. I like the pan roasting method for producing the same results without turning on the oven.

              On boiling - I find that roasting/butter braising concentrates the flavor. No flavor loss through to the water.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Thi N.
                Chino Wayne Apr 4, 2002 01:12 PM

                Gee Thi, don't you drink the water too? ;-)

              2. t
                The Rogue Apr 2, 2002 11:31 PM

                I just had some fantastic asparagus earlier today. Big fat sweet juicy stalks. They never made it home from the store 'cause I ate them raw... mmm so sweet and crispy. I've gotten to the point that I don't cook super sweet high quality asparagus or corn anymore. Just eat it straight.

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Rogue
                  Chino Wayne Apr 4, 2002 01:13 PM

                  I can dig that, it is absolutely uncessary, and a shameful waste of natural resources to cook a good fresh ear of corn.

                2. s
                  soccerdad Apr 2, 2002 07:18 PM

                  Cook in boiling salted water until crisp/tender (three minutes tops). Drain and immediately plunge into bowl of water and ice cubes to stop cooking. Serve at room temp. with Trader Joe's Rouille Mustard.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: soccerdad
                    Chino Wayne Apr 2, 2002 08:09 PM

                    Hell, just eat em straight when prep'd that way, if there are any left overs throw em in the refrigerator and eat cold or on a salad tomorrow.

                    1. re: Chino Wayne
                      Lynne Hodgman Apr 2, 2002 10:06 PM

                      Leftover asparagus?! Doesn't ever happen here!

                      Sigh, in the heartland here, our asparagus is still looking like it has been en route for about a month. Very limp, very sad. Have to wait another few weeks.

                      1. re: Lynne Hodgman
                        Chino Wayne Apr 3, 2002 12:11 PM

                        Yes left over asparagus, when you start with about three of four bunches, and Mrs. Chino Wayne (foolishly)doesn't think she likes asparagus, and Nephew Of Chino Wayne will not eat anything that is green, then the only eaters to contend over the luscious green spears would be Ms Chino Wayne (the offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Chino Wayne) and Chino Wayne himself.

                        1. re: Chino Wayne
                          Lynne Hodgman Apr 4, 2002 04:48 PM

                          Invite me for dinner...there won't be any left over. You don't even need to cook anything else!!!!!!

                          An adult who doesn't like asparagus? From which planet? (grin)

                          1. re: Lynne Hodgman
                            Chino Wayne Apr 4, 2002 06:32 PM

                            The planet called Der Weinerschnitzel...

                    2. re: soccerdad
                      soccerdad Apr 3, 2002 10:42 AM

                      I meant Trader Joe's AIOLI GARLIC mustard

                    3. k
                      Kriss Reed Apr 2, 2002 06:40 PM

                      Does "better" asparagus contain more of the compound that makes our urine smell funny? Go lab rat on us, Thi, and deliver the word.

                      1. c
                        Chino Wayne Apr 2, 2002 06:26 PM

                        Marinate some sliced flank steak strips in soy, sugar and cheap sherry, stir fry with sliced mushrooms and the asparagus sliced on the bias. Serve with plenty of white rice.


                        Slice asparagus on the bias, stir fry briefly, then thrown in a few dashes of oyster sauce and stir fry for about 30 seconds more.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Chino Wayne
                          LBQT Apr 2, 2002 08:04 PM

                          I use the same basic marinade (using brown sugar instead of white), but add ginger (fresh grated if available) and sometimes a touch of garlic.

                          1. re: LBQT
                            Chino Wayne Apr 2, 2002 08:07 PM

                            Yeah, and that brings to a mind a discussion of London Broil a while back, perfect marinade ingredients.

                          2. re: Chino Wayne
                            Zoe Apr 2, 2002 08:09 PM

                            Do you then put that in the blender for the liquid diet!!!

                            1. re: Zoe
                              Chino Wayne Apr 2, 2002 08:11 PM

                              Saaayyy... that's the ticket, chocolate, asparagus flavored diet drink.

                          3. l
                            lil mikey Apr 2, 2002 06:07 PM

                            Lightly coat asparagus with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in a 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, or until browned on top. Turn and roast for an additional few minutes. They'll have a nice roasted flavor, and be very tender on the inside.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lil mikey
                              Just Larry Apr 2, 2002 06:08 PM

                              I do the same thing. I use the pump-up spray bottle filled with olive oil. It really concentrates the flavors.

                            2. s
                              Samo Apr 2, 2002 05:09 PM

                              Snap off tough ends. Dry. Dip in beaten egg. Roll in breadcrumbs. Fry in oil until brown. Salt and pepper.

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