Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry


This stir fry is just a really light, simple dish that you can make with any combination of ingredients.  I would normally use chopped scallions instead of a sliced yellow onion, but I didn’t have any left.  The sweetness of the regular onion, though, made up for a dash of sugar in the seasoning I may have added.  I kept the flavors toned down because asparagus has such a fragile, light flavor–it was almost too simple that I’d wished I’d had a fresh chopped chilil to throw in or something, but it was nice to get to taste the asparagus and appreciate its texture, too. 

Tonight’s gripe is about how whenever I go to the grocery store, and it’s usually pretty late when they’re trying to close, the only kind of boneless chicken that they have are these thinly sliced chicken breast meat pieces.  It drives me nuts because I want to get a good chunk to slice on a bias in thin pieces, against the grain.  These stupid strips make it impossible.  I also don’t understand the pre-packaged “chicken stir fry” that’s been sliced up in these clumsy, vertical wodges.  The way you slice the chicken adds a lot to the tenderness of it in the outcome.  Anyway, that said, here’s my drill.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry
(makes 4 servings)

About 1 lb boneless chicken breast, sliced thinly against grain
About 10 asparagus stalks, sliced on a bias, with the tough ends snapped off where it naturally breaks 
About half an onion, sliced, or 1-2 scallions, sliced on a bias
1-2 tbspn rice cooking wine (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Soy sauce
Corn starch
Salt and pepper

Marinate sliced chicken with about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon corn starch, salt, and 1 clove of minced garlic for 20-30 minutes.  Heat a wok or large pan with oil and stir fry until slightly browned.  Add a tablespoon or so of rice wine if using while cooking.  Remove from pan.  Heat more oil and the rest of the garlic.  Stir fry asparagus and onions until just tender, adding salt and a little pepper to taste.  Return the chicken to pan.  Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce if necessary.  (If using scallion instead of onion I would add them here.)  Mix about one tablespoon with 1/2 cup cold water with a splash of soy sauce, and optional teaspoon of sugar.  Make sure your stir-fry is hot and slowly pour cornstarch mixture into the pan, stirring.  Stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, and serve dish over steamed rice.


Cost Calculator
(Makes 4 servings)

.91 lb chicken (at $2.99/lb): $2.75
10 stalks or so asparagus (at $3.49/bunch): ≈ $2.61
1/2 medium onion (at $0.69/lb): ≈ $0.05
Garlic, soy sauce, salt, sugar, optional rice wine: ≈ $0.25

Total: $5.66

Health Factor


Two brownie points – wonderfully healthy.  Asparagus is one of the most nutritious veggies.  It’s a little more expensive than broccoli or spinach, but it’s got folic acid, which is worth twice its weight in gold.  Just kidding.  I don’t really know what folic acid does.

14 Responses

  1. smash

    Folic acid is good for keeping your fetus from developing spina bifida and cleft palate. And it might be good for your heart too. Plus asparagus is delish.

    What does slicing against the grain mean, in chicken?

  2. yvo

    Mm, delicious! This looks great. Unfortunately, I don’t think my picky boyfriend eats asparagus and I aim to please… for the most part. (Actually, I aim to have someone besides me eating the leftovers.) I have a similar recipe but I have to switch the sauce up a bit because we’re both getting sick of the soy sauce+garlic combo… I’ve found a few things that work, thankfully 🙂

  3. Adam

    Gargh. Food shopping in NYC is such a chore. Every time I have to do it, I realize there are things about the ‘burbs that I really do miss. Large, clean, well-stocked 24-hour grocery stores being high on that list. (And a large kitchen with lots of pantry, cabinet, and countertop space. Waa, waa.)

    Have you ever done a cost comparison between wherever it is you shop and Fresh Direct? Might be good fodder for an entry.

  4. Yvo

    Fresh Direct is a godsend! I love grocery shopping but where I am in the city, it’s no easy task. So it’s great to come home and have everything delivered to you. They’re pretty good in terms of picking out things that are fresh too

  5. Cathy

    I kind of thought chicken had a slight grain to it, not as defined as beef. But it’s not a big deal… I would try Fresh Direct but then I’d eat a lot and get no exercise–see I’m a fan of biking to the store and back…but thanks anyway!

  6. Eric


    Your post is very informative.

  7. blind date sex

    Babysitters younger than 16 years should be forbidden

  8. Jaime

    I found your blog by googling chicken asparagus stir fry and I am so making this tonight! Great blog, by the way!

  9. Jemma

    Thanks for the idea to cut the chicken on the bias! It made a huge improvement. This was delicious!! Yay!

  10. vegan not

    easy, relatively inexpensive, healthy and smart.

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  12. Melissa

    This was an awesome recipe, although I think it could be a bit clearer in regards to the cornstarch mixture. I added 1 more clove of garlic, about 5 more asparagus stalks ( love the tip about breaking them), white sliced mushrooms, and some pimientos. I did put it over white rice, which I miraculously was able to cook right (lol), and it came out fabulous!! Mmmmmm 🙂

  13. Caroline M

    This is a very flavorful and delishious dish. Thank you for posting the recipe ! I may try to either substitute or replace the asparagus with snapped peas..

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