Spicy Toasted Sesame Asparagus


Are you sick of pomegranates yet?

This is a really easy and quick side dish that is pretty amazing, I’m not gonna lie, at least to you guys. I saw this recipe on Serious Eats, and thought it would be a great side dish for Shabbos lunch, and guess what – I was right.

Happens to be we’ve made something very similar in the past with broccoli, as I’m sure you’ll remember. They both have toasted sesame seeds, which I’m slowly realizing really make the dish. These are however a little spicier than the broccoli, but it’s not a mouth-on-fire type of spiciness. It’s more like a sneaky type of spiciness, it kind of creeps up on you. You’ll see.

This is usually the point in the post when I have to digress on and on about something mindlessly, because I feel that once I got you here, and causing you to shirk your responsibilities, I might as well make it worth your while right? But I honestly have nothing to say. (You see what happens a year into our relationship???) Soo, how was your day? My day was nice…


I joke. I guess I can discuss the science behind why asparagus makes your pee smell so bad, but we don’t tolerate any potty talk around here; this is a family website! Plus, I have no idea.

All right, onward comrades.

Grab some asparagus, and cut away the woody end. Then cut the asparagi into 2 inch strips. And dump them into a pot of boiling water, for a minute and 37 seconds, and no longer! And immediately place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.


Drain them really well, and go and concoct the dressing.

In a dry skillet on high heat, dump 2-3 tablespoons of sesame seeds, and toast them until fragrant, around 2-3 minutes. You’ll have to move them around constantly so they don’t burn.

In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, salt, and the secret ingredient:


Rooster sauce!

This is called chili-garlic sauce, or sambal olek, and is made by a small band of highly intellectual rooster chefs off the coast of North Dakota, who also bring us sriracha sauce (remember when we made pad thai with that stuff? Good times).

Well this chili-garlic sauce is very similar to s’chug, and if you love the feeling of – trying to extinguish the burning sensation in your mouth, only to come to a realization that nothing will ever help, and you will have to suffer while listening to other randomos shout they’re wrong opinions on how to get rid of that sensation, well then this stuff is for you!

Mix it all together, and add in your sesame seeds…Sometimes I actually take the sesame seeds straight from the hot skillet, and pour it into the soy-oil mixture. I like to pretend that I’m a genius, and that it actually does something (like somehow cook the soy-sesame oil mixture just a little…?) but the reality of it is, I like the hissing sound it makes when I dump the hot seeds in there.


Then toss the mixture with the aspargus, and that’s it. It probably tastes best when served right away, but we served it the next day for shabbos lunch and it was still great. Although I wouldn’t serve it cold.

Easy right?

Spicy Toasted Sesame Asparagus


  • One bunch of aspargus
  • 2-3 T sesame seeds
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 t sesame oil (toasted if you have it, if not regular is fine)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 T (or less if you’re a pansy) chili-garlic sauce/s’chug/sambal olek/
  • salt


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, and when boiling, cook the asparagus for a minute
  2. Drain, and place asparagus in an ice bath to cool off.
  3. Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet on high 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients, and sesame seeds (Hisssssssssssss), and toss together with the asparagus.

21 thoughts on “Spicy Toasted Sesame Asparagus

  1. Looks really good but Im still recovering from the last time I had siracha. Was your asparagus referencing Matt Lauer asking Mark Bittman the same question? He didnt respond!


    Asparagus contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan. It is also found in onions, garlic, rotten eggs, and in the secretions of skunks. The signature smell occurs when this substance is broken down in your digestive system. Not all people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan, so some of you can eat all the asparagus you want without stinking up the place. One study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that only 46 percent of British people tested produced the odor while 100 percent of French people tested did


  3. You know when you look through a cookbook and see a recipe which looks delicious? And you set forth writing down all the ingredients on your shopping list only to realize that the local supermarkets do NOT carry anything called Broccolini or arugula etc…Well, before I go about making this dish please tell your followers where to find this, “rooster sauce” in Baltimore. Thanks Gastronome!


    1. chavi-just go over to ya-yo and get some. thats what i am planning on doing!!!!!!!and dont forget to check the asparagus for you know what!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s