Cold Gingered Asparagus

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill
Yield: 4 to 5 servings
3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chinese sesame oil
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
  1. Combine vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vinegar is about reduced by about half. Remove from heat and stir in sugar or honey. Set aside.
  2. Steam the asparagus until just tender. Refresh under cold running water immediately and drain well, then dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  3. Combine the garlic, oils, salt, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Arrange the asparagus on a platter, and drizzle this mixture all over it. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
  4. Shortly before serving, spoon the vinegar mixture over the asparagus, distributing it as evenly as possible. (Definitely include all those little bits of ginger!) Serve chilled or cool.
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