• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Asparagus in Black Bean Sauce


Wok-Tossed Asparagus in Black Bean Sauce

By Andrew Zimmern

A sign that warm weather is in sight, the first glimpse of fresh spring asparagus is a celebratory event. It’s one of my favorite foods and a versatile ingredient, so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it when it’s in abundance in the market and at its peak flavor. This super easy recipe for Chinese-style wok-tossed asparagus in black bean sauce is salty, sweet, earthy and loaded with umami. It’s a perfect weeknight side dish that cooks in a flash.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Wok-Tossed Asparagus in Black Bean Sauce

Servings: 4

Total: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black beans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 dried hot red chiles
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)


First, cut the tips off of the asparagus, and then cut the remaining spears on the diagonal in about 1/2-inch lengths.

Preheat the wok over high heat.

In a small bowl, combine the sake with the black beans and gently smash. Add the toasted sesame oil and reserve.

Once the wok is hot, add the peanut oil, swirling from the top of the wok to coat the pan. Add dried chiles, garlic, ginger and sugar, and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Next, add the sesame seeds, half of the scallions and the sake mixture. Cook until the asparagus are crisp-tender and the sauce has nearly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer the asparagus to a platter, garnish with remaining scallions and serve.

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