The Cartoon Kitchen: Asparagus with Black Beans

This week's Cartoon Kitchen features Serious Eats' cartoonist in residence Larry Gonick's spin on asparagus. —Ed Levine

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The Cartoon Kitchen: Asparagus with Black Beans

About This Recipe


  • 1 pound medium asparagus spears
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • Salted, fermented Chinese black beans
  • Cornstarch, mixed with water to form a paste
  • Soy sauce, optional


  1. 1

    Cut the asparagus spears crosswise into thirds; stir-fry in peanut oil about 5 minutes.

  2. 2

    Remove spears, add touch more oil, fry 1 tablespoon minced ginger briefly. Add the chicken broth, the sherry, and a few salted fermented Chinese black beans.

  3. 3

    When it boils, thicken with the cornstarch paste; return asparagus to pan. Cover and simmer briefly until asparagus just loses its crunch.

  4. 4

    Serve with soy sauce, if desired, but be careful not to oversalt with it.

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