Panko-Crusted Asparagus Spears
Warm from the oven, these crunchy asparagus spears make a tasty side dish or cocktail nibble. Before being coated in panko breadcrumbs they are rolled in a flavorful sesame-miso sauce that doubles as a simple dipping sauce.
Notes: Miso is fermented soybean paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans, salt and grains (usually barley or rice) with koji, a beneficial mold. Miso is undeniably salty, so a little goes a long way. White or sweet miso (Shiromiso), made with soy and rice, is yellow and milder in flavor; use for soup, salad dressings and sauces for fish or chicken. Look for it near tofu at well-stocked supermarkets.
Although we typically use whole-wheat panko-style breadcrumbs, for this recipe we recommend using white, Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs for the best texture and flavor. Look for them in the Asian-food section of most supermarkets or near other breadcrumbs.
1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat