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This recipe showed up in my inbox one afternoon earlier this week and I made it for dinner that night. Food52 is a great resource for vegetable recipes. I find lots of inspiration on the site. This recipe was featured as a genius recipe and comes from Nobu’s vegetarian cookbook. After making this dish I want to check out the cookbook and see what other goodies it has in it.

I used a combination of asparagus from my CSA and the farmers market. I didn’t have leeks so I left them out. This recipe makes a ton of sauce so I will be making these again, I might even try the sauce on different vegetables. It was a nice different way to cook asparagus.

Fried Asparagus with Miso Dressing

3 ounces white miso or red grain miso
A dab of garlic paste (or one small garlic clove, grated)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (I used vegetable oil and less)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
A little sugar syrup (optional, I did not use)
3 inches white part of leek (optional)
Oil for deep-frying (grapeseed, peanut or even olive oil — just enough for 2 inches depth in a pot wide enough to hold the asparagus)
9 (or more) large spears green asparagus

Make the Miso Dressing: Combine the miso with garlic, soy sauce, oil, and vinegar. Check the taste and add the sugar syrup to taste, if desired.

Slash the leek lengthwise to open, and discard the inner core. Wash off the sand between the layers under running cold water. Cut into thin shreds. Pat dry well.

Heat the oil for deep-frying to about 300°F (150°C). Deep-fry in low-temperature oil, about 300°F (150°C), until it begins to brown. Drain on a wire rack in warm spot in the kitchen for up to 1 to 2 hours.

Bring oil up to 320°F (160°C) to 340°F (170°C). Trim hard bottom off each asparagus and deep-fry in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes. For serving, you can cut each length in half crosswise, or leave them whole.

Spoon the Miso Dressing on a plate and stack the asparagus on it. Top with the fried leek. Serve immediately.

The frizzled tips are the best!