asparagus with butter and soy sauce
Photo: Christopher Baker
Fresh asparagus drizzled with butter and soy sauce is a punched-up side dish—or add a poached egg to turn it into a light meal.

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Serves 4


  • Distilled white vinegar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, to taste


Total time: 25 minutes

Fill a medium pot about halfway with water, add a small splash of vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low so that the water simmers gently. Working with one egg at a time, crack into a small ramekin or teacup. If desired, briefly strain the egg in a slotted spoon or sieve to get rid of any loose egg-white threads, then return to the ramekin. Slowly and gently slide the egg into the simmering water, dipping the edge of the ramekin into the water so the egg doesn't have very far to fall. (Adjust the heat as needed to ensure that the water stays at a gentle simmer.) Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach eggs until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a plate; set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until just tender, about 30 seconds; drain immediately and pat dry with a clean dish towel.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add asparagus and toss often until slightly blistered in spots, about 30 seconds. Carefully add soy sauce, shaking the skillet to coat the asparagus until soy sauce reduces, about 15 seconds. Immediately remove skillet from heat; add 1 tablespoon. water and butter. Continue to shake the skillet and toss asparagus until butter is melted, creating a dark, golden brown sauce. (If the butter and soy sauce don't fully emulsify, add up to 1 tablespoon of additional water and continue to toss until they do.)

Divide asparagus and sauce among 4 plates, top with reserved eggs, sprinkle with sea salt to taste, and serve.

Adapted from Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes (Clarkson Potter), by Andrea Reusing.


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