Friday recipe: crunchy baked asparagus fries with lemon herb sriracha dip

My blogger buddy/colleague Nicole came across today’s recipe and forwarded it to me, knowing its accompanying sriracha dip would be right up my alley. And WOOO DADDY was she right: Not only is this recipe perfect for the asparagus now making regular appearances in the produce section (and, we hope, at this Saturday’s inaugural Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market), but it also features delightful textures and flavors (roasted veggie, crunchy panko, creamy/lemony/hot dip) that will make you weep with joy that you have tastebuds. If you tremble at the thought of eating something sriracha-spicy, you can leave that out of the dip or instead serve the fries with ranch dressing or marinara.

Photo: Meredith Steele
Photo: Meredith Steele

I also like this recipe because it comes from the family/food blog “In Sock Monkey Slippers,” launched by graphic designer/self-described foodie Meredith Steele after the birth of her premature daughter made her a stay-at-home mom. First, who doesn’t love sock monkeys? Second, while your asparagus is roasting, you can ponder the poem “If the World Was Crazy” by Shel Silverstein, which Meredith includes on the asparagus fries recipe page: It’s a fitting concept to contemplate and use to cope in the wake of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings and explosion in West, TX. We’ve been reading and hearing about with gratitude the good works of so many in response to these tragedies, including by members of the DMU community. We hope to share some of their stories in the summer issue of DMU Magazine.

Crunchy baked asparagus fries with lemon herb sriracha dip

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I consider this optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a skillet over medium-low heat, toast the panko breadcrumbs until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate and add salt. Toss to combine.

In a bowl beat eggs and water together; pour onto a plate. Set up a work station with the asparagus, flour placed on a plate, egg wash, toasted panko crumbs, and baking sheet.

To bread the asparagus, first roll an asparagus spear in flour, then egg wash, and then panko crumbs, pressing to adhere. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Place the breaded spears on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked but still crunchy.

While the asparagus is baking, make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients and mixing well. Serve with the fries.

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