Asparagus and Streaky Bacon Rolls, or the Quickest Asparagus Dish

asparagus_bacon_rollspAfter a particularly cold spring, we’re having  impossibly hot days (28°C at 9 pm is not my favourite weather in the city…), so my body and mind have had a thermal shock. As a result I’ve been utterly lazy in the kitchen. The asparagus bought with the intention to make chawan mushi (Japanese steamed savoury custard) ended up in these simple rolls because suddenly chawan mushi (which otherwise I prepare practically every second week) seemed too messy, too long, too tiresome… I know they are far from being original, but I thought it’d be a good idea to remind my dear readers of such a quick and easy asparagus treat many of us tend to forget about (at least I do).

The rolls are perfect as they are, served with rice or bread or on their own, as a snack, but since I always try to smuggle an egg into every asparagus meal, here is the same bowl with a fried egg (the egg is not the best looking, but it was another quick shot with my camera because I was simply too hungry and exhausted after 15 minutes spent in my sauna-like kitchen):

asparagus_rolls_bacon_egg

(If you are curious about the ugly-looking powdery stuff on the rice, it’s my homemade spicy furikake with prune (a Japanese rice topping).

TIPS: I hate mushy green asparagus, so here it’s practically half-raw and very crunchy, but feel free to precook it if you like it soft.

Preparation: about 15-20 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

8 thin (I prefer about 5 mm/ about 1/5 in thick in the middle) green asparagus spears, the lower tough 1/4th or 1/3th discarded (the thinnest the spear, the smeller the tough discardable part)

4 super thin (transparent, cut thinly like cured ham) slices of smoked streaky bacon

Cut the asparagus spears into pieces a bit longer than the bacon’s width.

Divide the pieces into four groups (make sure you have at least one asparagus top in every group, since it’s the most delicious part).

Roll tightly into the streaky bacon and stir-fry on medium heat until crisp, starting with the sealed part of the rolls and then turning once (you can also grill the rolls).

Since my asparagus is raw, I like to cover the rolls during the first half of the frying process (thus they cook a bit, but not too much).

Serve with rice or as a snack with toothpicks.

15 thoughts on “Asparagus and Streaky Bacon Rolls, or the Quickest Asparagus Dish

  1. A_Boleyn

    The idea of bacon wrapped asparagus is a great one but I’ve always been disappointed by the limp bacon. Even when you precook the bacon a bit, by the time the asparagus is done, the bacon just doesn’t have a great texture. The egg looks great by the way.

    1. Sissi Post author

      I have never had limp bacon! Have you tried with transparent-thin bacon? I don’t know if it’s sold in many countries, but you can always ask the butcher to cut the bacon as thin as Parma ham. Mine is crisp and delicious because it’s very very thin. Another thing : I always use organic bacon, which means no water pumped into it, as it’s often done with standard cold meats, at least in Europe, so it’s also an important thing to use “real” bacon, without additives.

    2. Sissi Post author

      And thank you so much for the egg compliment! (I thought it looked a bit “plastic”).

  2. Hiroyuki

    I bet the dish is very delicious! Quite similar to the dish my wife has made a number of times since we started to get asparatus from the small yard around the house, but she uses thinly sliced pork. She used store-bought ponzu for seasoning one day, and my daugher got hooked on it! My wife has kept making ponzu-flavored asparagus rolls since then.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Hiroyuki. It’s so funny but when I divided the asparagus spears into short pieces I thought it looked a bit Japanese 😉 In Europe most people roll bacon or ham around whole spears and use a knife, but since I already knew I’d have it with Japanese rice I eat with chopsticks, it seemed obvious I had to make smaller pieces.
      Ponzu sounds like an excellent idea! It would make the bacon’s flavours lighter and livelier. Thank you for the suggestion. I have bought kakepon (I quite like it) and have problems with emptying the whole bottle…

  3. David

    Looks so yummy! Sissi, you make everything so appetizing! Thank you for the explanation about the flakey rice toppings. I was wondering what they were. I think they make the dish look (and perhaps taste) even better. (I’ll try your furikake recipe as well) I’ve made bacon-wrapped asparagus once before, so many years ago, came out not as good-looking as yours. But now you remind me to perhaps try to create it once again. Thank you so much!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, David. The photos were taken very quickly with my phone and I was a bit worried about posting them… so I’m very grateful for your kind words.
      As I told A_Boleyn, it’s crucial to have very very thin bacon slices (transparent) and also to make sure they don’t have water pumped (I don’t know if in Thailand they do this too, but in Europe it’s such a popular practice, even free-range hams, bacons, etc. often have some water content).
      As for furikake, I strongly recommend it! The spicy prune one is by far my favourite: it’s tangy and hot and savoury… so many different flavours! It’s also nice to change from white rice (or rice+soy sauce).

  4. Eva Taylor

    We are having those very hot and humid days too, but at the cottage the temps fall to around 10-13 after the sun goes down, perfect for sleeping. I also wait for the sun to go down to bake sourdough bread (upcoming post). In the city we have an air conditioner so our home is very comfortable, thank goodness because with my present condition (hot flashes) I would be a very angry, melting Eastern Euooean woman!😁
    I’m with Maria (a-Boleyn) I had no idea normal bacon was pumped with water, should have because it makes sense. I usually microwave the bacon for 1-2 minutes to allow it to release as much water as possible. We eat such little bacon, it really would be best to buy organic, not sure why I haven’t. Thanks for the eye opener!
    Ontario asparagus is in right now, so this a wonderful dish. I love how you’ve reminded us that such simple flavour combos make such a wonderful dish. I’m putting it on the list for sure.
    The reload captcha button is not working on my iPhone 6 in Chrome. This was posted from safari.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Eva. In Europe air conditioning is very rare in private houses (apart from southern regions), not to mention flats… All I can do in my rented flat is pull down the shutters during the day and then rely on my ventilator. Luckily excessively hot summer days are rare in my city (probably thanks to the mountains above and the nearby lake).
      Actually, many industrial cold meats in Europe (ham too) are “pumped” with water (it’s often mentioned as “stock” in ingredients’ list). I guess it might be similar in Canada, but I’m not sure… My bacon is very very expensive (probably costs as much as “standard” dried ham), but the quality is amazing and since it’s sold in transparent-thin slices, I don’t see the huge price per kilo.
      Thank you for the captcha button warning. This is the second captcha app I install in recent months… I’ll see if I find another one. I’m sorry it doesn’t work on your phone.

  5. mjskitchen

    You know, we should get together and write a cookbook. 🙂 We love the same flavors, we like it simple and we love spice! I’ve never wrap asparagus with bacon, but I will be doing it soon. One of our favorite meals is asparagus with Mexican chorizo and an egg. So this bacon asparagus with an egg is right up my alley! It looks so good and I love the side of rice with a spicy seasoning. Great meal Sissi!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much for the compliments, MJ. This is an excellent idea! I’m in! Make sure you have your bacon sliced as thin as possible. Then you can have both the asparagus and the bacon crisp. Asparagus with chorizo and egg sounds fantastic!

  6. Katerina

    Hot days are here already and they expect the temp to rise at 37 C during the weekend! I love your wrapped asparagus. I have tried wrapping halloumi cheese with bacon and it was out of the world delicious. I strongly suggest it. Your egg is perfect too!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Katerina. I’m sure that somehow even extreme heat is much much more pleasant in Greece! And thanks a lot for the halloumi suggestion! It reminds me of bacon-wrapped tofu (http://www.withaglass.com/?p=16729) which often pleases even tofu haters 😉

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