This Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms is a delicious and incredibly easy side dish. All you need is 15 minutes and one pan to put it together. This simple dish is so fresh and full of sweetness, richness and interesting textures.
We recently discovered how wonderfully asparagus pairs with mushrooms. To explore this combination, I tried sautéing asparagus with shimeji mushrooms and it turned out great.
Shimeji mushrooms, also called brown beech mushrooms, is one of my most favorite mushrooms. It has a rich flavor with a sweet and nutty taste that complements the sweetness and earthiness of asparagus so well.
This is an excellent side dish showcasing natural flavors of these two ingredients. You can also have it as a light meatless main dish.
The stars of this dish are green asparagus and shimeji mushrooms (brown beech mushrooms). If you need tips for choosing asparagus, check out this guide to buying asparagus and keeping it fresh. Brown beech mushrooms are available at many regular Western as well as Asian grocery stores.
You will need to trim off the woody parts of asparagus and the ends of shimeji mushrooms. Then slice the asparagus spears into shorter sections to match the length of the mushrooms.
Tips for preparing green asparagus
- A simple way to remove the woody parts of asparagus is to hold each spear on one end and somewhere near the base. Then gently bend the asparagus until it snaps. The asparagus will break off near where it turns woody.
- When slicing the asparagus into shorter pieces, slice on an angle for a more aesthetic look (see photo above).
You will also need some butter to add richness, lemon juice to brighten the dish, and some shaved parmesan to round out the flavors (use vegetarian parmesan to keep the dish truly vegetarian). Use vegan butter and leave out the parmesan if you want to keep the dish vegan.
We cook this dish at home quite often, and to us, it’s still delicious without adding any butter, lemon juice or parmesan. Just asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper are already good enough. Other ingredients are optional.
How to Sauté Asparagus with Mushrooms
This dish takes less than 10 minutes to cook on the stovetop, so make sure you have all ingredients ready before cooking.
To bring out the flavors of asparagus and mushrooms as well as to get great textures, we need to sauté/sear them until lightly charred (asparagus) and beautifully golden (mushrooms). Therefore, it is best to use a heavy bottom pan like a stainless steel pan. I use an All-Clad sauté pan.
My asparagus is very tender, so I only need to sauté them for a couple of minutes to get a nice char and a crisp-tender texture. If you see that enough color has developed, but the asparagus is still way undercooked, add a few tablespoons of water or stock to the pan. The steam will help the inside get a bit more cooked through.
To brown the mushrooms, you should make sure the pan is hot and avoid overcrowding the pan. Once mushrooms and asparagus have been sautéed separately, we briefly stir-fry them together with butter and garlic.
Finally, squeeze over lemon juice, sprinkle black pepper and shaved parmesan (if using), and that’s it. Very quick and easy.
In addition to sautéing, grilling is another great way to cook asparagus. You may want to try this grilled opah with asparagus recipe.
Sautéed Asparagus with Mushrooms
- 12 oz green asparagus (with woody parts trimmed)
- 5-6 oz brown beech mushrooms (or other types of mushrooms you like)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2/3 tablespoon butter
- black pepper
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- freshly shaved parmesan
- Trim the woody parts of asparagus and the ends of shimeji mushrooms. Slice asparagus on an angle into about 2-inch long sections to match the length of shimeji mushrooms.
- Place a pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil (or enough to lightly coat the pan) once the pan is hot. Once the oil is hot, add asparagus and arrange them in an even layer. Let them cook undisturbed until the bottom starts to develop colors. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then flip/stir to cook until all asparagus pieces have a light char and near crisp-tender. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high, and to the same pan add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add shimeji mushrooms to the pan in one layer, and let them sear until the bottom starts to develop colors. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stir and cook until the mushrooms are golden-brown.
- Add garlic and butter to the pan. Stir and cook briefly for a few seconds until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant. Add asparagus back to the pan, briefly stir and cook to let the flavors combine.
- Transfer sautéed asparagus and mushrooms to a serving plate. Squeeze over lemon juice, sprinkle black pepper and shaved parmesan on top. Serve immediately.