A quick look at the photo for the pan-roasted asparagus does nothing to prepare you for the flavours you’ll taste when you actually eat it. The photo is unassuming enough: pan-roasted asparagus, mystery hollandaise-y looking sauce, poached egg, a light sprinkling of pepper.
The dish sounds like a lot of asparagus and egg dishes you’ll find in various restaurants and cookbooks, but there’s a distinct Momofukuness to the pan-roasted asparagus: miso butter.
You need to make miso butter. Even if you aren’t making pan-roasted asparagus, you need miso butter in your life. Room temperature butter and white miso were made for each other! Mix the two together until they’re blended and a uniform colour and then lick it off your fingers like cake frosting. Try it, Chang recommends the finger licking in the book.
The miso butter is a seriously delicious concoction and when I tasted it, it immediately reminded me of something. The butter was fabulous and I licked my way through quite a bit of it before it hit me: Cheez Whiz! Miso butter and Cheez Whiz are not an exact match, but there are definitely some similarities between the two. You can knock Cheez Whiz all you want, but sometimes, there’s a time and place for it. Of course, miso butter is a thousand times better, but please, do a taste test and tell me I’m not crazy!
The ingenuity of this dish is the miso butter. After you make that, you’re good to go. Asparagus is pan-roasted in butter, eggs are slow-poached, miso butter is made into a sauce with some sherry vinegar. Plate it all up and you’ll have the most umami packed asparagus and egg dish ever.
The creaminess of the egg mixed with the miso butter is almost like hollandaise, but not like any hollandaise you’re had before. I demolished my plate in seconds and spent the rest of the time looking longingly at Mike’s. Pan-roasted asparagus, you’re a good dish!