Raw asparagus, watercress and mint salad – Asian Style

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Asparagus is delicious raw, I almost like it better that way, almost.  It is also easy to prepare with an ordinary vegetable peeler.  I paired it with watercress and mint, mixed it all together, sprinkled it with some nouc cham I happened to have in the fridge and created a lovely light lunch that zinged with springtime goodness.


1 bunch  of spring asparagus (Choose fresh, green asparagus spears of a medium thickness that have tight, closed heads.)

1 large handful of watercress

10 mint leaves

1 red Thai chilli

Serve with Nouc Cham Sauce (and a dash of sesame oil)

This is a dipping sauce/dressing that has many variations. Some are sweeter or more sour than others. You have to find your own balance. This recipe will make a small jar but you will only need a couple of tablespoons for the salad.

2                      small garlic cloves, crushed

1                      chilli split and seeded

1 teaspoon      of fine white sugar or more to taste, dissolve in hot water if necessary.

2                      limes juice of (30ml)

60ml                 rice vinegar or mild low acid vinegar like cider vinegar

60ml                 fish sauce

Place all in a jar and shake about to blend the flavours.


1. Hold the tough end of the asparagus spear and slice down the asparagus (towards the head as thinly as possible) using a vegetable peeler. The heads can be a bit tricky to do on the very last peel so just crumble them in and discard the hard end you are left holding in your hand. Repeat until all the asparagus is sliced.

2. Slice the chilli, also as thinly as possible. Wash and drain the watercress and mint leaves. (coriander leaves would make a great addition too).

3. Toss the asparagus, watercress and mint with the nouc cham; add the chilli, pile the  asparagus on a plate and finish with a dash of sesame oil. Enjoy.

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If you love asparagus try these


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