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Stir-fried shrimp and asparagus

(Jonathan Levitt for The Boston Globe)
May 11, 2011

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Serves 4

2 tablespoons Chinese preserved black beans, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 piece (1 1/2 inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 fresh chili pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 pound fresh asparagus
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1 lime

1. In a small bowl, combine black beans, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and chili pepper. Mix well.

2. Snap off and discard the tough asparagus ends. Cut the spears on a diagonal into 2-inch pieces.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water until cold.

4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the shrimp and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp is barely pink (they cook more later). Transfer to a bowl.

5. Add the soy-sauce mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and shrimp and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more or until shrimp are cooked through. Sprinkle with lime.

Jonathan Levitt