Thursday, February 07, 2013

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Smoked Asparagus and Panko Crusted Eggs

Herbivoracious Cookbook 
It's been a while since my last one so I figured it was about time I start another cookbook project.  I decided to go with Michael Natkin's herbivoracious cookbook which I received at a Seattle Blogger Event last summer. Michael also has a great blog so be sure to check it out. His cookbook is filled with vegetarian friendly dishes that are not dull or boring. You won't even miss not having meat. You can always fix these recipes as side dishes if you really gotta have your meat.  In 2010, I tested out an Asian noodle dish which you can find on page 168 of the cookbook called Loaded Otsu Noodles.  I highly recommend it but you'll probably need to visit an Asian food market like Uwajimaya to find all the ingredients for it.

I'll be trying out one or two recipes from each of the categories in the cookbook. I'll photograph and even do some videos to share on my blog and if I made any dietary changes to the recipe I'll make a note about it.  The first recipe I tried was from the Appetizers section and was a combination of eggs and asparagus.

I bet not many people have smoked food indoors; it was a first for me.  The asparagus turned out great and everything but I'm not sure I'll do it again because it filled the kitchen with smoke that lingered for days. I covered a steamer pot with aluminum foil to keep any smoke from escaping through the lid and I tried to be careful and not let too much smoke out of the pan when I removed the asparagus.  I even took it outside to let it air out but quite a bit still got out when I was taking the video of the smoking pot.  I wasn't sure if I should soak the wood chips or not. The recipe didn't say to so I ended up not soaking them but there are other recipes that suggest soaking them. I'm not sure it makes that big of a difference.  The asparagus was drizzled with a gastrique which was supposed to be made with sherry vinegar but I ended up using balsamic since I didn't have sherry.  It was my first time making a gastrique and I gotta say it was pretty tasty.

The other part of the recipe was panko crusted eggs.  I try to eat gluten free as much as possible but I just couldn't find any gluten free panko at PCC or Whole Foods but I know they exist, just not locally I guess. They might have some at Uwajimaya, I didn't check there.  I also unvegetarianized the recipe by using bacon fat instead of vegetable oil.  I don't use vegetable oils anymore and primarily use coconut and olive oil but I know those doesn't work very well for frying so I decided to go with the bacon fat. It gave the eggs a nice bacony flavor so it worked pretty well. I'll definitely make the panko crusted eggs again.  It's a 3 step process which I show quickly in the video. The egg gets dipped first in cornstarch then egg and then the panko before it's fried and crispy.  They don't make for very good leftovers so be sure to just make enough to eat right away.

I'm looking forward to trying out more recipes from the cookbook. Michael also has a great food blog so check it out at
Asparagus egg prep Asparagus and eggs


  1. Never thought of smoking asparagus...may have to try that in the summer! Oh and Uwajimaya is the bomb!

  2. Paula, this is so awesome! Thanks for doing this and taking such great pictures.

    Oh, by the way, you did the right thing by not soaking the wood chips. Soaking them keeps the temperature too low so you get mostly sour, unpleasant flavors instead of pure smoke.

  3. Thanks Michael. I figure if I was supposed to soak them it would have said so in the recipe so I took my chances and didn't. :)