Beer battered asparagus with garlic aioli

  • For the asparagus
  • 1 bunch medium asparagus, ends trimmed (about 375g)
  • 500ml buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 175ml beer, lager or pale ale
  • 110g plain flour
  • 115g white cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1L groundnut oil
  • Sea salt
  • For the garlic aioli
  • 250ml mayonnaise
  • 75ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1g lemon zest
  • 20g finely minced garlic
  • 4g minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt
View metric measurements
For the asparagus:
1) In shallow pan, soak the asparagus in buttermilk for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from the buttermilk, but do not rinse.

2) In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, beer, flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. In large deep sided pot, heat the oil to 180C.

3) Meanwhile, in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter mixture. Dip the asparagus spears, one at a time into the batter, then carefully lay in the oil.

4) Do not overcrowd the pan, fry in batches, if necessary. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turning the spears with tongs to ensure even cooking. Drain on a kitchen paper-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Serve immediately with the garlic aioli.

For the garlic aioli:
1) In a food processor, combine all the ingredients well and season to taste with salt.

2) Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

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