Food: Asparagus Namul

I have a thing for food that looks as good as it tastes. Sure, I love a light taco casserole as much as the next person, but if we’re honest, even the best taco casseroles often look like something the cat tossed up. So when I find a recipe or even the notion of a recipe that promises ease, beauty, and flavor, I cannot pass it up.

This asparagus namul recipe is life-changing. It’s low-calorie, low-fat, nutritionally-dense, delicious, aesthetically-pleasing, and so easy you can make it drunk, naked, and in high-heels (only if you want). Asparagus is an excellent natural cure for water retention and an ideal side for or after a high-sodium feast. It’s also high in fiber, iron, and a whole host of vitamins. I spent more than a week scouring the web and my cookbooks for the perfect version. In the end, I settled on a variation of my own.

Asparagus haters love this dish; children whose mouths know more about Happy Meals than green vegetables love this dish; your mother and mine love this dish. Everyone loves this dish! So take a deep breath, buy that fresh organic asparagus you’ve been eyeballing at the market, and make this recipe. I don’t expect you to thank me later. You’ll be too busy with that third helping.


SERVES 1 – 2

  • 2 cups asparagus, uncooked and cut diagonally into ¾-inch lengths.
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (try the low sodium stuff!)
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Place everything into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands! You may want to use gloves or a large spoon if your skin is sensitive. Make sure the asparagus is well-coated in the seasoning and sauce. Serve immediately or allow 30 minutes for the asparagus to soften – it’s great either way. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to two days.


Asparagus: 54 calories

Apple Cider Vinegar: 0 calories

Soy Sauce: 0 calories

Sesame Seeds: 34 calories

Sesame Oil: 40 calories

Minced Garlic: 5 calories

Red Pepper Flakes: 0 calories

TOTAL CALORIES: 133 calories (150 w/optional ingredient)

By Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller is a twenty-something blogger, cook, freelance writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She’s a feminist trying ever-so-hard to embrace her spaces, conventional or not. She looks forward to numerous bad hair days, burnt cremes, a soapbox or two, and maybe (just maybe) a yellow polka-dot bikini in the years ahead.

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