Chef John's Shaved Asparagus Salad Recipe -
Chef John's Shaved Asparagus Salad Recipe
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Chef John's Shaved Asparagus Salad
Fried pastrami strips and a simple mustard dressing are perfect with asparagus. See more
  • READY IN 20 mins

Chef John's Shaved Asparagus Salad

Recipe by  

"When you shave asparagus thin with a peeler and give it a quick curing/pickling in the mustard dressing, the harsh attributes mellow out substantially, and the sweet, grassy flavor comes through. In fact, it was so delicious that I contemplated serving it without the fried meat. Happily, that passed."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    5 mins

    20 mins


  1. Whisk vinegar and mustard together in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking rapidly until the dressing is thick and creamy.
  2. Hold an asparagus stalk at the stem, tip pointing away from you, on a work surface. Shave ribbons of asparagus off of the stalk with a vegetable peeler, moving the peeler from the stem-end to the tip. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Transfer asparagus strips to a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper over asparagus; drizzle dressing over the top and toss to coat. Let sit until asparagus wilts slightly, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pastrami in hot oil until almost crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Divide asparagus salad between four plates and top with pastrami.
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Reviews More Reviews

Apr 19, 2014

Wow! I was not sure about this dish at first but after watching the video I thought I would give it a try. I am really glad I did. Hubby loved it, told me don't lose this recipe. I would never have thought to fry pastrami.It turned into delicious,crispy little bits that tasted amazing with the tangy dressing. Shaving the asparagus was a bit difficult. I don't have a V-shaped peeler and kept hitting my knuckles on the counter and I couldn't get the last strips thin enough. I finally held the asparagus close to the edge of the counter and solved the problem. It was definitely worth the effort. Thanks for another great recipe Chef John.

Apr 16, 2014

I loved it. Being a vegan, I did have to change the meat. Instead of the pastrami I used the bacon chips (a teaspoon or two, just to flavor the dressing is all I needed)you buy in the salad toppings area. I am not a fan of oil so I dropped it to 1 Tbsp. Next time I may cut the oil out altogether (don't hold me to this, when I make a vinegar and oil dressing I use 1 oil to 3 vinegars.) I couldn't wait to taste but when you do wait that couple of minutes the wilted asparaus allows you to enjoy more. Thank you John for this fabulous way to eat raw asparagus. Nutrition wise this packs a heck of a wallop!


13 Ratings

May 03, 2014

I made the recipe exactly according to the directions and the video. It came out perfectly. I had never eaten asparagus raw before. The dressing tenderizes the asparagus just right. My husband usually catagorically refuses to eat anything with mustard in it so I didn't tell him about the mustard until AFTER he had eated the dressed asparagus and he had repeatedly said he liked it. We will be having this again! Thanks Chef John!

May 03, 2014

Wow...Quite elegant: DELICIOUS, and VERY easy. I didn't have pastrami so I cooked sliced proscutto instead and it was awesome. The contrast of the crispy fried meat with the fresh raw vegetable is a real taste treat. I added some shaved Parm & onion powder, and served with a nice slice of melon. What an easy way to impress guests. Next time I think I will add maybe 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion to the meat the last minute of cooking (just to wilt), but that is a personal preference. Can't wait to make it again (I honestly ate the entire 4 servings myself as a lunch), but be sure to use fresh asparagus. Both Costco & Sam's Club package their fresh asparagus really well & it is always so much better than the supermarkets that just put it out unwrapped, with a rubber band around it.

Jun 15, 2015

Delicious! Did not have pastrami so I used bacon bits instead. Will definitely make agaim.

May 12, 2015

Really good. Good with thicker asparagus fir shaving

Nov 25, 2014

This was SO GOOD! I wasn't sure of what to expect from a pickled cold asparagus salad, but it was fantastic and I am definitely going to be making often. My husband loved it and went back for seconds. I used bacon instead of pastrami. YUM!!!

Jun 30, 2014

Got a thumbs up to do again!! I did have to substitute apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar and left off the pastrami because we were having BBQ ribs, but it was still awesome.


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  • Calories
  • 169 kcal
  • 8%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.6 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 19 mg
  • 6%
  • Fat
  • 13 g
  • 20%
  • Fiber
  • 2.5 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 8.8 g
  • 18%
  • Sodium
  • 383 mg
  • 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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