Cold Marinated Asparagus in a sesame vinaigrette is fresh and flavorful and takes less than 30 minutes to make with a only a handful of ingredients. The Asian-inspired marinade complements the asparagus without overpowering it. When this tender green vegetable is in season, this sesame marinated asparagus is one of the best ways to enjoy it.
Chilled marinated asparagus is one of my all-time favorite vegan asparagus recipes. I love the combination of rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil.
As when making Asian-inspired silken tofu salad, a little sesame oil goes a long way. Only a quarter teaspoon is needed for the entire bunch of asparagus!
And although you only need 15 minutes to marinate the asparagus, you can also make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until you're ready to eat.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's light yet flavorful and only requires 4 ingredients .
- You can make it in under half an hour.
- It's easy to make and goes well with a variety of dishes.
Look for sesame oil, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds in the Asian section of your supermarket.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
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- Blanch the asparagus spears in a pot of boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. (If you're not familiar with this quick cooking technique, check out my article on how to blanch green beans, which applies to other vegetables as well.)
- As soon as they turn bright green, quickly remove them from the water and submerge them in a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process. Once the cooked asparagus is completely cool, remove the spears from the ice water and carefully pat them dry with kitchen towels.
- Toss with rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and let marinate for 15 minutes. Top with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
There's nothing worse than soggy, overcooked asparagus. Be sure to keep your eye on the pot when blanching it and remove them when they are crisp-tender. And have your bowl of ice water ready.
Leftover cold asparagus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, it's best served the day it was prepared because it may become soggy.
Always store asparagus in the refrigerator. To keep it fresh longer, keep the rubber bands on and slice off the very bottom of the stalks. Place them in a glass of water like you would flowers. A Pyrex measuring cup works well. Then put a plastic bag over the top of the spears and refrigerate for up to a week until ready to use.
The entire asparagus is edible, but you will probably want to remove the tough woody stems. Hold each spear and gently bend it. It will naturally break at the start of the woody stem which you can then discard.
Yes, you can buy sesame seeds already toasted in the spice aisle of the supermarket. Or you can toast raw sesame seeds yourself by heating them in a dry skillet for about 3 minutes over medium heat until golden brown. This will bring out their nutty flavor. Keep an eye on them and toss the pan frequently since they can burn easily.
More vegan asparagus recipes
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If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Quick Sesame Marinated Asparagus
- Wash the asparagus and discard the tough woody ends of the stalks. You can do this by bending each one until the woody end breaks off.
- In a large pan, add about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook it just a few minutes until tender and bright green. Be careful not to overcook it.
- Transfer the blanched apsaragus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove once it's completely cool and pat dry.
- Arrange the asparagus on a serving dish. Toss with the rice vinegar and sesame oil. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Top with sesame seeds before serving.
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Nutritional information is an estimation only.