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Food: Asparagus Namul

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I have a thing for food that looks as good as it tastes. Sure, I love a light taco casserole as much as the next person, but if we’re honest, even the best taco casseroles often look like something the cat tossed up. So when I find a recipe or even the notion of a recipe that promises ease, beauty, and flavor, I cannot pass it up.

This asparagus namul recipe is life-changing. It’s low-calorie, low-fat, nutritionally-dense, delicious, aesthetically-pleasing, and so easy you can make it drunk, naked, and in high-heels (only if you want). Asparagus is an excellent natural cure for water retention and an ideal side for, or after, a high-sodium feast. It’s also high in fiber, iron, and a whole host of vitamins. I spent more than a week scouring the Web and my cookbooks for the perfect version. In the end, I settled on a variation of my own.

Asparagus haters love this dish; children whose mouths know more about Happy Meals than green vegetables love this dish; your mother and mine love this dish. Everyone loves this dish! So take a deep breath, buy that fresh organic asparagus you’ve been eyeballing at the market, and make this recipe. I don’t expect you to thank me later. You’ll be too busy with that third helping.




  • 2 cups asparagus, uncooked and cut diagonally into ¾-inch lengths.
  • 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (try the low sodium stuff!)
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Place everything into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands! You may want to use gloves or a large spoon if your skin is sensitive. Make sure the asparagus is well-coated in the seasoning and sauce. Serve immediately or allow thirty minutes for the asparagus to soften— it’s great either way. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to two days.


Asparagus: 54 calories

Apple Cider Vinegar: 0 calories

Soy Sauce: 0 calories

Sesame Seeds: 34 calories

Sesame Oil: 40 calories

Minced Garlic: 5 calories

Red Pepper Flakes: 0 calories

TOTAL CALORIES: 133 calories (150 w/optional ingredient)

This post first appeared in Persephone Magazine on July 27, 2011



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