Japanese Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 海老とアスパラガスの和風パスタ

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  • Seasoned with soy sauce and flavorful dashi broth, this Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus is incredibly delicious and ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s also gluten-free!

    A plate containing Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus.

    Spring is in the air! Say goodbye to hot pot and stews, and let’s welcome bright and light dishes with spring vegetables!

    Today I’m going to share a super quick and easy Japanese Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus (海老とアスパラガス簡単和風パスタ).

    What’s Japanese Pasta?

    You might have heard of the word Wafu Pasta (和風パスタ) while you were visiting Japan. Wafu Pasta refers to Japanese-style Pasta.

    Wafu (和風) means Japanese-style and we often use this word to describe something that’s Japanese-style. In cooking, it can be the use of Japanese flavor profiles and ingredients. You might have heard of Wafu Dressing (Japanese-style salad dressing) or Wafu Hambagu (Japanese style hamburger steak).

    In today’s recipe, we’re making a western-style pasta into Japanese style flavors.

    Watch How To Make Japanese Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus

    Click here to watch on YouTube

    A plate containing Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus.

    3 Tips to Make This Recipe

    1. Pick good asparagus.

    Asparagus is very sweet and delicious when it’s in season!  You should look for firm and crisp stalks with tightly closed budding tips. There are different sizes of asparagus, and for this recipe, I think it’s best to pick thin to medium-width stalks so that they don’t require cooking for a long time.

    2. Cook stalks and spears separately.

    The texture of the food is important, especially when you want to fully enjoy seasonal fresh vegetables. You don’t want to get mushy wilted asparagus!

    In cooking, little extra steps help and improve the final dish. Please remember to cook stalks first because they take a longer time to cook than spears.

    3. Cook pasta till al dente in the frying pan.

    Don’t cook your pasta until al dente when you are boiling pasta in the pot, as you will need to toss the pasta with ingredients and seasonings in the frying pan. You don’t want to end up with overcooked pasta.  Purposely undercook the pasta for this dish.

    A red skillet containing Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus.

    Make this Japanese Pasta Gluten-Free

    Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

    Soy sauce is traditionally brewed from water, wheat, soybeans, and salt.  If you are gluten intolerant, you won’t be able to use soy sauce in cooking unless it’s tamari soy sauce (100% wheat-free ones) or gluten-free soy sauce.

    Kikkoman Gluten Free Soy Sauces

    Kikkoman offers 3 varieties of gluten-free soy sauce.  For this recipe, I used the regular gluten-free soy sauce (blue label) which tastes just like regular soy sauce.

    Gluten-Free Pasta

    I’ve tried several brands of gluten-free pasta and by far Garofalo’s Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Linguine are the BEST pasta that I’ve tasted.

    Gluten-Free Pasta | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    The texture and flavors are just like regular pasta.  Mr. JOC and the kids didn’t notice that this was a gluten-free dish until I mentioned it. So if you have a family member or friend who is allergic to gluten, you can all still enjoy the same meal with this pasta!

    Use Other Spring Vegetables 

    There are so many wonderful spring vegetables that you can incorporate into this dish in case you don’t like asparagus. Here are my choices of spring vegetables that would go well with this dish.

    • Artichokes
    • Belgian endive
    • Butter lettuce
    • Cabbage (in Japan, we have “spring cabbage” 春キャベツ)
    • Collard greens
    • Fava beans
    • Fennel
    • Green beans
    • Mustard greens
    • Peas
    • Snow peas
    • spinach
    • Swiss chard
    • Watercress

    A plate containing Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus.

    The Amount of Chili Peppers

    Mr. JOC and I love adding 1-2 dried red chili peppers (without seeds) in this pasta. I’d chop into smaller pieces and cook with olive oil and garlic to infuse the flavor. However, my children think it’s a bit too spicy, even with one red chili pepper.

    If you have children, another option is to sprinkle crushed chili peppers over pasta at the table. As the chili peppers are not infused into the oil, you would need more chili flakes to enjoy the kick, but it works.

    If you love spicy food, I highly recommend cooking with chili peppers. I hope you enjoy this recipe with your family and friends!

    A plate containing Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.5 from 20 votes
    Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus (Gluten Free) 海老とアスパラガスの簡単和風パスタ (グルテンフリー) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Japanese Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
     

    Seasoned with soy sauce and flavorful dashi broth, this Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus is incredibly delicious and ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s also gluten-free!

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: asparagus, pasta, shrimp
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • ¼ red onion (2.5 oz, 70 g)
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 6 oz asparagus (6 oz, 170 g)
    • 10 large prawn (peeled and deveined; 9 oz, 260 g)
    • kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 ½-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1-2 dried red chili pepper (seeds removed; optional)
    • ¼-⅓ cup dashi (60-80 ml)
    • 1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
    • crushed red peppers (red pepper flakes) (optional)
    • 8 oz gluten free pasta (4 oz or 113 g per person; I used linguini)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients and bring a big pot of water to boil.

      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus Ingredients
    2. Meanwhile cut red onion and garlic cloves into thin slices.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 1
    3. Cut asparagus diagonally and separate spears and stalks, we will sauté asparagus stalks first as they take longer to cook.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 2
    4. Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on prawn. If your prawn is not peeled or deveined, you can check my tutorial for instructions.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 3
    5. Once the pasta water is boiling, for 4QT (16 cups or 3.8L) add 2 Tbsp salt. As we will cook the pasta a little longer after draining, cook it 1 minute less than the directions on the package.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 4
    6. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add prawn and cook until the bottom side is nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes. Don’t touch the shrimp until it releases itself from the skillet. Once it has nice char on one side, you can easily flip.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 5
    7. When the one side of the shrimp is nicely browned, flip and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Once the shrimp are nicely golden brown, transfer to a plate and set aside.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 5-bEasy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 5-b
    8. Lower the heat to medium low, add the butter and swirl around.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 6
    9. Add the red onion and garlic slices and sauté for 1 minute. If you like spicy pasta, add chili pepper now. Increase the heat to medium and add the stalks of asparagus. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until asparagus stalks become tender.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 7
    10. Then add the spears of asparagus and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the asparagus are tender but still nice and crisp.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 8
    11. Add the prawn back in to the skillet and increase the heat to medium high heat. Add dashi.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 9
    12. Add gluten free soy sauce and adjust based on your preference.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 10
    13. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine with the ingredients. If you like, sprinkle freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. Optionally, you can garnish with chili pepper flake.
      Easy Wafu Pasta with Shrimp and Asparagus 11
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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