Makes: 4 servings
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 11⁄2-inch long strips
11⁄4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Snap or cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and if desired, strip off the small leaves on the spear up to 2 inches from the tip. Cut on the diagonal into 11⁄2-inch lengths.
In a wok or stir-fry pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the garlic and salt and stir until the oil is hot and the garlic sizzles. Add the asparagus and stir for about 1 minute. Add 1⁄2 cup water and cook, covered, over medium-high heat until the asparagus are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.
Add the red pepper and stir until the pepper loses its raw look, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir up the cornstarch mixture and add it to the pan, stirring until the liquid thickens. Remove from the heat, taste, and add salt as needed. Serve immediately.
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