Pan-Roasted Asparagus

pan roasted asparagus with miso butter

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.

broken egg yolks make me cry with joy

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.

miso butter tastes like cheez whiz!

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!

super skinny asparagus

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!

there's nothing quite like breaking into a perfectly poached egg

15 Comments add yours

  1. yummm, I can almost taste the flavors in my head..looks fantastic!

    Thanks! You should give it a try!

    steph on February 4th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  2. I made some of the miso butter and mixed it with minced to plop on top of a bowl of ramen. Delicious!

  3. Minced garlic. Danged internet.

    Mmm…miso butter, garlic and ramen. Miso ramen is so good!

    steph on February 5th, 2010 at 1:59 pm
  4. Looks delicious! I love how almost every step has a picture. It really helps me see the process! Going to have to try this one very soon! Here is my fave asparagus and egg dish:

    Thanks! Bacon and eggs with asparagus sounds delicious!

    steph on February 5th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
  5. That looks so good! I am definitely going to have to try miso butter!

    Go for it, miso butter is addictive!

    steph on February 13th, 2010 at 9:20 pm
  6. Needed to use up some broccoli, so I sauteed it with miso butter…and it tasted just like broccoli au gratin (but better, of course!). I agree completely on the Cheez Whiz comment!

  7. I made this tonight and found the miso butter to be extremely overpowering. Now I’m wondering if I bought the wrong kind of miso. The recipe calls for shiro miso, which I know is also known as white miso, and it’s supposed be a milder variety. All I could find in the supermarket was the Master Miso brand “Mellow White Miso,” which seemed to fit the bill. But when I tasted the miso butter I grimaced from its intense saltiness.

    I’m going to have to try this again, but next time I’ll go to an Asian supermarket and make sure I buy something that says “shiro miso” on the label.

    I had the same problem. It was kind of gross, and made me sick to my stomach after a while. And I got the shit from the asian market.

    sacredchao on June 15th, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Did you use unsalted butter?

    Joe Estes on September 8th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
  8. I feel like I’m missing something. I can’t seem to see anywhere where you mention the butter to miso ratio? How much sherry? I feel ridiculous asking but I’d like to avoid the oversalty stomach-churning meal that some others experienced. Help?

  9. I need to make a large amount of this. I am thinking how to deal with the poached eggs on a large scale. What do you think about doing more like a carbonara where when the asparagus come off the grill, quickly cut them into one inch pieces and toss with raw mixed eggs to let the heat of the asparagus create a ‘sauce’ or coating and then plop them on the miso butter sauce? Then a serve a whole bowl of it more like a salad? Could add a few poached eggs for garnish/extra sauce. Interested in your thoughts. Thanks

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