Sweet and spicy grilled asparagus

An Asian-inspired take to perk up your plate!

So many vegetables are a great match for the sweet-spicy-sour-salty flavour profile that is common in many Asian cuisines. Asparagus is a great example – just a brief time marinating in this flavourful sauce followed by a few minutes on the grill (or under the broiler, or on the stovetop in a hot skillet) produces a really delicious side dish. It’s a good idea to choose asparagus spears that are of uniform thickness so they will cook easily; if you can’t find them, start cooking the thickest ones first then add the thinner ones after a few minutes. If you enjoy asparagus, check out this recipe roundup for more tasty ideas.


  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) chili or chili-garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 20 – 24 spears fresh asparagus
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, lime juice, pepper, chili paste, soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, water and garlic.
  • Snap the woody ends off the asparagus (here’s a video in case you don’t know what I’m talking about).
  • Place the asparagus in a single layer in a non-reactive dish (or use a large ziploc bag).
  • Drizzle the marinade over the spears and jostle them gently so they are evenly coated.
  • Let asparagus sit for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Grill (or broil) over medium heat until just tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

2 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.