Recipe - Sesame Mushroom Asparagus Chow Mein

The simplest dishes can sometimes be the best. I was trying to figure out how to use some beautiful brown and white beech mushrooms I had on hand one day when I realized that there was some fresh asparagus in the refrigerator as well from a farmers' market we had visited. Extra chow mein noodles in the pantry made it all easier to decide that a garlicky, quick, and feel-good meal was in order. You can consider this a good vegetarian way to make a lunch/dinner or you can use it as a base dish for other mixes. I'd say that the prominent flavor was garlic and sesame oil so hopefully you like those. Oh and a bit of Sriracha mixed in at the end made it even better (not pictured)!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 3-4 servings)

  • 5 Tbsps dark sesame oil, separated
  • 1 1/2 bulbs garlic, sliced
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, halved and split lengthwise
  • 1 cluster (6-8 oz) white beech mushrooms, separated
  • 1 cluster (6-8 oz) brown beech mushrooms, separated
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 package (12-14 oz) dry chow mein noodles, whole
  • black pepper, to taste

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
In a large pot, sauté about 3 tablespoons of the sesame oil with all the sliced garlic until garlic browns around the edges. I use dark sesame oil for its smokier taste. Halve the asparagus and split the stalks length-wise for thinner pieces. Stir in with oil and garlic for about 3 minutes. For mushrooms, separate them by pulling each apart from the base. Add to the pot and stir along with remaining sesame oil, oyster sauce, and sesame seeds.

Step 3: Finishing
I indicated using dry noodles in the recipe but if you have fresh ones, the cooking process will be quicker! If not, prepare the dry noodles as instructed on their package. As for why I said whole, I didn't want you to buy the broken up pieces people use in salads. Anyhow, this is the last ingredient so stir together with all of the vegetables until thoroughly heated up (3-4 minutes). Enjoy with freshly cracked black pepper!

Photography by Duc Duong.