from Jude’s Kitchen: Spring Sprouts

With the first local spring sprouts now available in stores if not your garden, enjoy them now while they're fresh and in season.

Sesame Shrimp & Asparagus

Most people who love asparagus don’t care much for it from the can or frozen. It’s just nothing like the crisp, barely-cooked freshly-sprouted-from-spring-soil version.

And, that means there’s only a window of a few weeks in spring when you can really enjoy fresh B.C. asparagus, at its best.

I don’t know about your kitchen, but mine goes through a wide variety of asparagus experiences at this time of year as we enjoy it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We unearth all our favourite recipes for this delicate sprout and have them all in these few weeks when local asparagus is ready and available.

Coincidentally, it overlaps with the short season of another favourite food of mine: fresh, B.C. Spot Prawns, which are only harvested in May and June off the coast of this province.

Luckily, they can be frozen and enjoyed later in the year, with much better results than asparagus, but they’re still much nicer when they’re fresh from the sea.

And, shrimp and asparagus are quite delicious together, especially stir-fried.

Both are also good in Indian-inspired dishes, and my favourite local Indian restaurant, Poppadoms, is ramping up their selection of Indian-inspired cocktails, with the launch of a second instalment later this week.

Bartender and owner Harry Dosanj presents 10 new offerings that fuse Indian flavours with local fruits, herbs and spirits such as the Chai-tini, the Mangalore, Temple of Doom, Bollywood Smash and Tamarind Margarita.

Enjoy some of the best East Indian food you’ve ever eaten as well. Poppadoms is on Highway 97 at McCurdy Road. Go to: for more details.

And, for more recipes like the following, pick up a copy of my book, Jude’s Kitchen, which is available wherever books are sold, as well as at local wine stores such as the VQA shop in the Kelowna Wine Museum on Ellis Street.


Asparagus Salad

Steam a half- pound to a pound (220 g to 454 g) of trimmed asparagus for five or six minutes or so, or until just tender.  Drain well and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

My colleague, wine expert John Schreiner, recommends a riesling icewine with this dish.

You could even poach a few B.C. Spot Prawns to serve alongside…


1/2 c. (125 ml) nuts

1 tbsp. (15 ml) sesame oil

1/4 c. (60 ml) cider vinegar

1/4 c. (60 ml) soy sauce

1/3 c. (75 ml) sugar

freshly-ground black pepper

roasted sesame seeds

Chop walnuts, pecans, or other nuts finely.  Mix together with remaining ingredients and pour over chopped asparagus.  Add a sprinkle of freshly-ground black pepper.

Serve immediately or marinate for two or three hours before serving slightly chilled, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

Do not marinate overnight.

This can be served with toothpicks or little spoons as an appetizer, or at the table.

Sesame Shrimp & Asparagus

Fresh B.C. Spot Prawns should begin to be available for their short season at the beginning of May, for just a few weeks. This is slightly amended from the one in my book, where renowned wine expert John Schreiner added margin notes recommending local wines with many of my recipes. He suggested pairing this dish with the Intrigue Wines Riesling, or Tantalus or Quails’ Gate.

Pork or scallops would also be delicious in this dish, instead of the shrimp or prawns.

2 tsp. (10 ml) minced ginger

1 small onion

1 small zucchini

1 celery stalk

1 bunch Shanghai bok choy

5 mushrooms

1/2 lb. (227 g) asparagus

1/2 sweet red pepper

1 tsp. dark soy sauce

1/4 c. (60 ml) water


1/2 lb. (227 g) large shrimp

1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger

2 tsp.(10 ml) dried, fermented black beans

1 tbsp. (15 ml) light soy sauce

1/2 c. (125 ml) water

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch

1 tbsp. (15 ml) cold water

toasted sesame seeds

Halve the onion and slice it into strips, then chop the other vegetables into bite-sized pieces, or a bit smaller. Shell prawns, if necessary and mince ginger.

Drizzle a little oil into a hot wok and swirl it around. Then add the ginger and onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the other vegetables, one at a time, stir frying for a minute or so with each addition.

Drizzle with soy and add a little water and steam for a minute or two. Remove to a bowl or the serving dish. Drizzle a little more oil into the wok and add the ginger and prawns. Let them cook for a minute, then turn them over for a minute more. Add black beans and stir-fry, then add light soy sauce and water and mix in.

Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and add to the liquid in the bottom of the wok, stirring until it thickens. Return vegetables to the wok and mix everything together.

Serve hot, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 2 or 3.


Just Posted

Proposed changes to Kelowna transit system benefits students

The No. 8 University route is set for the biggest change, with additional hours of service

Big White Fire Department raises more than $100,000 for new cross walks

The annual Rooftop Campout helped raised funds over the weekend

Gray opts out of Conservative nomination forum

Candidate cites ‘multiple’ legal opinions saying event contravenes election act

UPDATE: West Kelowna house fire not suspicious

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

New cougar study may provide answers to increased sightings in Kelowna

Sightings of the animal have doubled in the spring compared to last year

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Michael Dunahee’s disappearance remains the largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives Okanagan cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

Eco-friendly home tour builds support for Okanagan students

Canadian Federation of University Women host fifth annual fundraiser

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Video: Shuswap home to thriving community of beekeepers

Apiary operators share details about how they keep their hives healthy

Westwold stars in thriller film

Beyond the Woods set to release in June 2019

Most Read