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Asparagus and shiitake mushrooms in oyster sauce

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Easy and quick

My introduction to Thai cuisine

Raised in Hawaii, I grew up enjoying a wide range of ethnic foods.  In 1977 a new cuisine was introduced to the islands:  Thai food. Keo Sananikone opened Mekong in Honolulu and was an immediate and resounding success. Shortly after he opened Keo's, a  somewhat ramshackle, open-air and candle-lit space on Kapahulu. The original Keo's was painted sparkling white and was literally filled with orchids. Keo's is credited for not only introducing Thai food to Hawaii, but perhaps to all of the U.S. Keo's has won many international awards and Bon Appetit named Keo's America's best Thai restaurant. Keo's is now located on Kuhio St. Keo supplies his restaurants with fresh produce grown on his two farms.

Keo's cookbook

I bought my Keo's Thai Cuisine cookbook back in 1985, and had pretty much forgotten about it, until my friends Mark and Jan invited me to a Thai meal at their home in Newport Beach. I was very impressed that they were cooking Thai food, and even more impressed when I saw they were using Keo's Thai Cuisine cookbook. Mark had purchased all the ingredients at a Thai market and chopped and prepped all the ingredients. In order to get multiple dishes on the table at once, Mark enlisted his guests to each prepare one dish. It was a delicious and very fun evening. I was inspired to dust off my Keo's cookbook and take a crack at some of his recipes.

Click to download our free e-cookbook: 15 Recipes To Make You Look Like A Star

Very simple and delicious asparagus

This simple recipe is a great introduction to how easy Thai food can be to make. Keo's recipe uses dried Chinese black mushrooms, but I like to substitute fresh shiitakes. Oyster sauce ties the ingredients together. Fresh green beans or Chinese green beans can be prepared in the same way. Vary the heat by adding chili peppers.


Asparagus and shiitake mushrooms in oyster sauce

Simple Thai 12-minute asparagus you will make again and again.

  • Author: Something New For Dinner
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and woody ends snapped
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T oyster sauce
  • 13 Thai red bird’s eye chiles (optional), seeded and sliced


  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium high. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms have softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add asparagus, oyster sauce and optional chiles and stir-fry for about three minutes. Serve immediately.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. nancy greene says:

    Which brand of Oyster sauce do you recommend? and where do you get it. This looks delish !

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Nancy —

      I use Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand Oyster Sauce. You can purchase it here.

  2. Lamia says:

    Sound yummy (asparagus and shiitake side dish). Will try it this evening.

  3. Lauren says:

    I made this for dinner last night with asparagus and shiitake mushrooms fresh from the farmer’s market. I didn’t have any oyster sauce so substituted fish sauce instead. It was still delicious! And so so easy. (PS: I paired it with your wine-poached salmon and the meal was a winner at home. Plus it only took 30 mins total for both dishes..perfect for a weeknight.)

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      So glad you liked it. Interesting substitution fish sauce for oyster sauce. I wouldn’t have thought to make the swap, but it makes a lot of sense. I learn from you!

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