Zak Pelaccio's Asparagus Kerabu
Spring is here and with it comes many stalks of wonderfully green asparagus, and while we love them simply steamed, drowned with hollandaise, or topped off with a wobbly poached egg, we're thinking this Asparagus Kerabu from Zak Pelaccio's Eat with Your Hands might just be our new asparagus go-to for the season.
This take on a Malaysian salad soaks the stalks in a bath of lime juice and fish sauce before splitting the tips and stems for a raw/charred asparagus experience. The stalks are shaved thin and the tips are charred in a searing hot pan before getting tossed with ginger, bean sprouts, mint, onion, chiles, and ginger. The last, balancing touch is kerisik, or pan toasted coconut, that brings both sweetness and a crunchy-chewiness to the salad.
Recommended playlist and drinks pairing:
Listen: Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On?"--the melancholy soul vibe that moves you in more ways than a naked chiropractor.
Drink: Ezio Voyat Chambave "La Gazzella" 2004, a unique moscato that I can't seem to drink enough of.
What Worked: This Asparagus Kerabu is a prime example of the bitter-sour-salty-sweet profile that makes Southeast Asian food so satisfying. The bitterness of the asparagus is complemented and accentuated by salty fish sauce, tart lime, and sweet, toasty coconut.
What Didn't: We couldn't possibly find a point of contention with this spring salad.
Suggested Tweaks: If you're not jazzed about shaving asparagus stems, charring them on the grill or in a cast-iron pan would be a time-saver.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 'Eat with Your Hands' to give away.