Chilled Asian Asparagus Spears

  • Serves: 4; about 6 asparagus spears per serving
  • Cooking Time: 2 minutes
    Chilling Time: 4 - 24 hours


A cool and tangy change from the usual cooked asparagus, this dish is perfect as a complement to an entrée or as an elegant party appetizer.


1 pound fresh asparagus spears (about 24), trimmed
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce (lowest sodium available)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (lowest sodium available)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds plus 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, divided use
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cooking Instructions

In a skillet large enough to allow you to lay the asparagus flat, bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus, arranging the spears in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs, immediately plunge the asparagus into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let soak for 2 to 3 minutes. Spread paper towels on a flat surface. Dry the asparagus well on the paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds. Pour into a large, shallow casserole dish. Add the asparagus, turning several times to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.

To serve, discard the marinade. Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Garnish with the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Cook's Tip

You might wonder why the marinade ingredients are combined in one bowl, only to be transferred to a casserole dish in the very next step. It’s because the amount of marinade is fairly small, so it’s easier to combine thoroughly in a smaller container. The marinade is also ideal with other vegetables, such as mushrooms, green beans, and broccoli.

Nutritional Analysis
Per serving
Calories Per Serving
Total Fat
2.0 g
Saturated Fat
0.5 g
Trans Fat
0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat
1.0 g
0 mg
70 mg
10 mg
3 g
7 g
3 g

Dietary Exchanges

1/2 carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Patient Education program.  Recipe copyright © 2009 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere, and at