|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Festivals, carnivals, and state fairs have their share of strange fried foods, but you won’t see too many fried asparagus around. Unless you’re in Stockton, Calif. Fried asparagus may seem an odd sort of recipe, but it is, in fact, absolutely irresistible. And, as a once-a-year treat, it's really not all that unhealthy. At the annual springtime Stockton Asparagus festival (now known as the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival) they sell it by the ton: literally. They use huge, thick spears—reputedly the best tasting—but we find they don't cook through, so we use smaller spears, ideally 1/2" in diameter.
After a bit of greasy indulgence, you might be interested in low-fat asparagus cooking and eating tips.
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
- 1/3 cup cold flat beer
- 1 large egg white
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heat 1 inch of oil (peanut oil is best, but canola or vegetable oil will work) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
In the meantime, whisk together beer, egg white, flour, baking powder, black pepper, salt and baking soda in an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch (or a pan that will accommodate the asparagus spears nicely) baking dish until thoroughly mixed.
Dip asparagus spears individually into the batter and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Dust generously with grated Parmesan cheese or dip in mayonnaise. This roasted garlic and paprika mayonnaise are particularly good.
Note: A pound and a half of asparagus may seem like a lot for two, but this asparagus is so good, you'll want to gorge on it. Do it for lunch and have a cold beer with it. You won't need anything else.
Source: Adapted from the Stockton Festival Fried Asparagus recipe. Edited by Barbara Rolek