OPINION | FRONT BURNER: Turkey and Asparagus Stir Fry satisfies craving

Turkey and Asparagus Stir Fry (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)
Turkey and Asparagus Stir Fry (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

I bought more of that spindly asparagus I mentioned a few weeks ago. This time it was not on sale. But it's all my market has had in stock lately and I was really craving asparagus.

This time I used the thinner-than-a-pencil spears in a stir-fry, taking advantage of their super quick cooking nature. I used a recipe I found on the Canadian cooking blog Yay! For Food (yayforfood.com) as a guide. For the most part I stuck to Marie's recipe, but I reduced the soy sauce and added a bit of honey for balance. I also added a generous bit of ground black pepper. I didn't have any green onions, so I skipped them. Next time, I'll definitely use them and maybe add a sprinkle of sesame seeds or toasted cashews for crunch.

The recipe cooks very quickly, but there's quite a bit of measuring and chopping. It took me about an hour from when I stepped into the kitchen to when I sat down with a bowl to eat. But I was interrupted multiple times, so it'll likely come together much faster for you.

Marie at Yay! For Food suggests serving this with steamed rice, but I ate it without the rice while it was hot. Later I ate it chilled and wrapped in lettuce.

Both ways are delicious.

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Turkey and Asparagus Stir Fry

  • For the sauce:
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon honey, optional
  • For the stir-fry:
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½- to ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste OR 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste OR 1 (1-inch piece) fresh ginger, minced

In a spouted measure, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, black pepper, rice vinegar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Taste and adjust seasoning: If mixture is too salty, add up to 1 tablespoon of honey. If mixture tastes flat, add a splash more vinegar. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the turkey in about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks. If the skillet becomes very dry, add a little more oil. Using a slotted spoon, remove turkey to a bowl; set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and then add the asparagus and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until peppers and asparagus are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute more. Return the cooked turkey to the pan. Give the sauce a quick whisk and then pour it into the pan. Cook, stirring, until turkey and vegetables are coated in sauce and the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve over rice, if desired.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from yayforfood.com