Whenever we eat out Japanese I always gravitate towards the same things… agedashi tofu (lightly fried tofu in broth), shumai (steamed shrimp dumplings), seaweed salad. I stumbled upon this asparagus with sesame vinaigrette recipe that is really easy to make and reminded me of my other favorite Japanese dish, gomae (spinach with sesame sauce).
Asparagus with Sesame Sauce (adapted from original recipe here)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp mustard
1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
Toast sesame seeds in a small heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a small bowl. Grind half of the seeds, using a mortar and pestle. Whisk together oils, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice ground sesame seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl until combined well.
Blanche asparagus until crisp tender, toss with sauce, sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds and serve.