This is amazing.
I thought it would be time-consuming but it wasn't at all, and the result was phenomenal. The dipping sauce is delicious and the asparagus is delicious and everything is just wonderful. I will admit I roasted them a little longer than they needed to because I forgot to check, so they were a little more toasty than they should have been. But that was not a bad mistake at all! Very forgiving, in fact! I would definitely make this again. Maybe even this week if I can find some more miso paste (I finally ran out after what, like, 3 years?). Usually I can find it in the international or "healthy" sections of grocery stores, so hopefully I can find it. Hoorah! You should probably try this if you like asparagus. And if you're worried it will be too spicy, just reduce the chili paste/sriracha.
Also a note: I used yellow miso. What's the difference? You can buy it at Asian Food Grocer, small local Asian food stores, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe's, etc.
Panko-Crusted Asparagus Spears
Eating Well, March/April 2011
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.
Cooking spray -- preferably canola oil
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 scallions -- trimmed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 bunch asparagus -- (about 1 pound) trimmed
3/4 cup Japanese-style panko -- (see Notes)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil; coat with cooking spray.
2. Combine mayonnaise, scallions, miso, chile-garlic sauce and oil in a small bowl.
3. Place asparagus in a shallow dish and toss with half the miso mixture (about 1/4 cup), making sure the asparagus is well coated.
4. Combine panko and sesame seeds in another shallow dish. Working with one spear at a time, roll in the panko mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a bit of room between each spear. Coat the prepared spears with cooking spray.
5. Roast the asparagus until the coating is browned and crispy and the asparagus is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the remaining miso mixture as a dipping sauce.