BBQ Asparagus with Soy Sauce

Asparagus cooks very quickly on the barbecue, and green or purple asparagus is delicious served alongside anything else being barbecued. The spears can also be cooked on a chargrill pan on the stovetop to achieve a similar effect. Serve your barbecued asparagus on a heated plate, as they will cool down quite quickly. You can heat plates in the oven, in a sink of hot water, or in a microwave oven for a minute.

I give small quantities of butter as a tablespoon measurement in this book when an exact amount is not essential. It’s useful to know that a tablespoon of butter is about 20g – test how close your scoop is by weighing it. It’s important to learn to ‘measure’ with your eyes as well as the scales as you develop your cooking skills.

Serves: 2



  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 green or purple asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • freshly ground black
  • pepper


Dip a pastry brush in the oil and ‘paint’ each asparagus spear very lightly. Rest the spears on a plate.

Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium heat. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the soy sauce. Keep this warm while you cook the asparagus.

Grill the spears, turning after three minutes. Cook for another one to two minutes. The spears should be well marked from the grill and crisp-tender. Transfer the cooked asparagus to a warmed serving plate and drizzle with the buttery sauce. Grind over a little pepper. There is no need to add salt as the soy sauce is already salty. Serve immediately.

Variation: Broccolini can be grilled in exactly the same way as the asparagus, and served with the same sauce.

Recipe taken from The Cook’s Apprentice by Stephanie Alexander.
The Cook’s Apprentice
is the essential teaching cookbook for the younger cook who’s just starting out. This wonderful book is full to the brim with everything new foodies need to know to become relaxed and confident in the kitchen.

Arranged alphabetically, The Cook’s Apprentice includes 56 ingredient chapters – from Apples to Zucchini – and more than 300 achievable recipes ranging from classics every cook will want to try to exciting new dishes that reflect our diverse nation. Stephanie takes you into her kitchen as she explains more than 100 important techniques in straightforward language, discusses the kitchen tools she likes to use, and describes ingredients you might not know: How do I whisk eggs to soft peaks? What does it mean to ‘make a well’ in dry ingredients? Why should I roast spices? How do I prepare fresh chillies safely? What is ‘resting meat’ and why should I do it? How do I prepare a mango? What flavours work well together? What is fresh mozzarella? How do I say ‘quinoa’?

The Cook’s Apprentice gives all you new cooks the inspiration you need for a lifetime of enjoyment in the kitchen.

You can purchase The Cook’s Apprentice at

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