• Campbell Whitman

Braised White Asparagus with Miso

What a surprise this was! The white asparagus remains the strongest flavor in the dish, but the miso that lingers in the caramelized shallots adds a blast of umami flavor that is quite stunning. Next time, I will add some black sesame seeds to the dish before serving for a much better visual impression. I didn't know they weren't in-house.....

Braised White Asparagus with Miso

1500 g large white asparagus stems (once peeled 550 g leftover- rest gets turned into a soup. See these two links for inspiration link #1, link #2)

2 T ponzu sauce (recipe)

3 medium shallots (about 75 grams)

1 T sesame oil

1/2 t sunflower oil

1 t butter

20 g miso paste

2 1/2 T hot water

fresh cracked pepper

tiny pinch of salt

2 T green onions

sesame seeds for garnish


I begin by cutting off about 3 inches (7,5 cm) of the bottoms of the asparagus stalks before peeling. When peeling the asparagus, do it VERY well! White asparagus have a couple thick layers of skin that if not removed, makes it very chewy and fibrous. I peel two to three times in one spot BEFORE rotating, depending on how thick they are.


Julienne your shallots.


In a warm, thick-bottomed pan with a good sealing lid on medium to medium-high heat, add the sesame oil, butter and sunflower oil. Sauté the shallots for a couple of minutes stirring the whole time. They must wilt but not brown at all. Add the ponzu sauce and move the shallots around for another minute. Next, add your asparagus and move them around a bit to make room for all of it. Mix the miso paste with the hot water until smooth, pour over the top and again, sort of mix it around gently. You can shake the pan if necessary. Season with pepper and a wee bit of salt. Cover with the lid. Once bubbling set the fire to low and cook until the spears are soft when the point of a knife goes easily in and out. 3-8 minutes depending on thickness. Mine were about 3/4 of an inch thick (about 2 cm) and took about 5-7 minutes. When done, if not ready to serve yet, set them on a plate to cool so they do not overcook. Or stop the cooking and remove the lid a few minutes early and then you can warm them back up. When warming them back up, do so on medium-low with the lid so you do not overcook them. I served mine with some sushi rice and pan seared salmon. YUM!