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This is a 15-minute, no-fuss recipe for asparagus stir-fried with onions and a spicy Asian-style peanut sauce. Serve this flavorful dish as vegetarian main dish with noodles or rice or as a side for beef, chicken or tofu.
This easy asparagus stir-fry combines the sliced spears with a tangy, spicy peanut sauce that I can’t get enough of! If you’re looking for a way to cook asparagus beyond roasting, grilling or steaming it, this recipe is for you.
Our family enjoys all kinds of quick meals with lots of veggies — I’m always coming up with new ways to “sauce” them. The peanut sauce in this recipe is so versatile. Make a double batch and use it as a dip, dressing or marinade for chicken or tofu.
Stir-fry asparagus in minutes
Say no to tough, rubbery asparagus! People who tell me they don’t like the stringy, mushy texture of asparagus have probably eaten one too many servings of overcooked asparagus.
The secret to perfectly cooked asparagus is to slice the asparagus into small (1 or 2-inch) pieces. That’s the best way to ensure the vegetable cooks quickly in under 5 minutes, while preserving its fresh snappy texture. I’m not exaggerating when I say this recipe is QUICK.
If you get your hands on lots of really fresh asparagus, I suggest making a fresh green asparagus salad with it, and save the rest for this stir-fry!
Ingredients for the recipe:
- Asparagus spears: You’ll need one pound asparagus.
- Shallots: Shallots are less pungent than yellow onions — I love them. Scallions (green onions) can be substituted.
- Fresh lime wedges: Squeeze them over each serving.
- Crushed red chili: Optional, for an extra layer of heat.
The stir-fry sauce is whisked together with ingredients come straight from the pantry:
- Peanut butter: Choose a creamy peanut butter, preferably unsweetened. Other nut butters such as almond or cashew can substituted as well as tahini.
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Chili garlic sauce: I love this stuff!
- Fresh ginger and garlic
- Maple syrup
- Toasted Sesame oil
- To prepare fresh asparagus for sautéing and stir-frying, trim off and remove the woody bottom stems. If your asparagus is thicker than the width of a pencil, slice them in half vertically.
- Thinly slice the spears on the diagonal into 1-2-inch wide slices.
How to stir-fry asparagus:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
- Add the asparagus and shallot and cook 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the sauce and cook until heated through and thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Serve the saucy asparagus all by itself as a side dish, over cooked rice, or with cooked noodles.
Quick and Easy Stir-Fried Asparagus
- ⅓ cup (85 g) smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) Asian chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) grated fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
- 1 pound (450 g) asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced diagonally into ½-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or avocado
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
- 4 lime wedges
Prepare the sauce
- Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl.
Cook the asparagus
- Place a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it starts to shimmer, stir in the asparagus and shallot. Cook 3-4 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and the shallot is translucent.
- Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the sauce thickens and coats the vegetables.
- Squeeze the lime wedges over the dish and sprinkle with crushed red pepper to taste. Serve the asparagus as a side dish or with rice, noodles or spiralized zucchini as a main dish. It's good warm, at room temperature or cold.
- The recipe makes enough sauce to serve with 4 cups cooked rice or 2 cups cooked noodles.
- Stir-fried asparagus will keep refrigerated 1-2 days. Enjoy it cold or at room temperature, or reheat on medium heat for 1-2 minutes in a microwave.
- Other nut/seed butters such as almond, cashew or tahini can substituted for the peanut butter.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.