Sesame Asparagus Salad Recipe

Asparagus is now in season. When you’ve had your fill of steamed and grilled, try this delicious salad.

Wilmette resident Katie Hauser made this salad for a potluck once. Gracious friend that she is, she gave me the recipe. I’ve been making it ever since because it’s one of those recipes that always works and everyone loves—even people who are not wild about asparagus. This photo is with whole asparagus spears, because it looks a little more elegant, but either speared or chopped—delish!

Sesame Asparagus Salad

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.

3 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise*
1/3 cup lightly toasted sesame seeds


1. Blanch asparagus in salted boiling water. Once tender, (a minute or two at most) drain, plunge in ice water, drain again and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, mix together garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half. This takes at least 5 minutes, and you’ll know it’s done when the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Take off the heat, and let it cool.

3. Mix soy sauce with the mayonnaise, then toss with the asparagus. You might not need all the sauce, so save the extra for grilled chicken or to add to leftovers for a salad. Garnish with the sesame seeds just before serving.

* If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, you can substitute Greek yogurt or low-fat mayo.

Shopping List
3 lbs. asparagus
1 head garlic

Other items
Rice wine vinegar
Sesame seeds (sold toasted in the Asian food section)
Soy sauce
Brown sugar

Complete the menu: BBQ fare—burgers, hot dogs and potato salad

Photo by Emmie Hine.