This is a very considered choice - putting the sauce before the dish. You need to know right from the start that this sauce is no supporting actor but indeed has the starring role. The asparagus fried rice is good and fine but when the sauce is added? mmmwhaw! This virtuosity owes everything to the fine flavour of goma aka sesame seed. Simple and fast to make this sauce improves salad as well as fried rice.
Sesame seeds are more than simply tasty - they are loaded with minerals (primarily calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc) as well as Vit B1 and some good ol' fiber. Amazing fact: 1/4 cup of raw sesame seed provides more calcium than 1 cup of milk. While I know that it is unlikely you will be eating even 1/4 cup of sesame seed a day, it still shows that this seed is pretty loaded with calcium, and getting these important minerals is critical to good health. So eat your minerals!
1/4 cup tahini
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp hot water
Combine all the ingredients in a small-ish bowl and whisk together. Serve drizzled over asparagus fried rice. Saves well for a week in the fridge.
asparagus fried rice
(adapted from Spilling the Beans)
1 (19 oz) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1" pieces (roughly 1/2 lb)
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup chopped almonds (for topping)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until the chickpeas are golden. Add the garlic and salt and continue to cook until the chickpeas are becoming crispy. Remove from pan and put aside.
Add the onion to the pan (with a bit more coconut oil if needed). Cook until golden. Add the asparagus, cover and cook for a couple of minutes - until the asparagus is bright green and just softened. Remove from the pan and add to the chickpeas.
Add another tsp or so of coconut oil to the pan and then add the rice. (You can use leftover rice if you have it but we never have enough rice leftover to make a decent sized batch of fried rice so now I just always use freshly cooked rice. Nobody has complained yet.) Toss the rice around a bit for a minute or two, so it starts to brown. Add the chickpeas, onions, and asparagus. When everything is well mixed and warmed through, you're ready to serve.
Divide the fried rice into bowls, drizzle with the goma sauce, and top with a sprinkle of chopped almonds. Pass more sauce at the table.
One of the things I like best about fried rice is having enough left for a bowl for my lunch the next day. A bowl of rice, some quiet, and a good book to enjoy while I munch. Heaven.