Thai-Inspired Asparagus Salad with Fried Meyer Lemon

April  5, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

A few weeks ago my partner and I tasted fried lemon slices for the first time at The Tar Pit in Los Angeles. The frying really mellowed the acidity of the lemon and it was quite tasty. This recipe utilizes the type of dressing you would find on a Thai beef salad, with fresh herbs and lime juice. The fried lemon slice is meant to be eaten, rind and all, along with the salad. —clintonhillbilly

Test Kitchen Notes

This little salad's flavors come at you head first, hitting you with bursts of chili and jalapeno, sprays of cilantro and lemongrass and blows of lime. We liked clintonhillbilly's gregarious approach to seasoning and willingness to break from Thai cooking by adding Worcestershire, and well, asparagus. The fried Meyer lemons are a zinger -- make sure you slice them thin, thin, thin -- and could just as easily be paired with fritto misto, fried chicken or grilled fish. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Thai-Inspired Asparagus Salad
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste or sauce
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons prepared lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • Fried Meyer Lemon Slices
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 inch of oil for frying
  1. Thai-Inspired Asparagus Salad
  2. Prepare asparagus by trimming off the woody ends and peeling off the pointed from the bottom half of the stalks. Blanch asparagus in salted water until al dente.
  3. In a bowl or jar, combine all other ingredients and stir or shake until sugar dissolves and oil and lime juice are well combined. Prepared lemongrass is sold in Asian markets and in Whole Foods -- if using fresh lemongrass, peel the outer stalks and use only the softer inner portion, soaking in warm water or very briefly boiling to soften.
  4. Shock asparagus in ice water, drain, and place in salad bowl. Pour dressing over asparagus.
  1. Fried Meyer Lemon Slices
  2. Slice Meyer lemon into very thin slices. Do not peel.
  3. Mix panko, salt, and pepper and spread on a plate. Use salt and pepper to your own taste, a bit less or more is fine.
  4. Beat egg in a small bowl.
  5. Dip each lemon slice in the egg, and then pat panko mixture onto both sides.
  6. Heat oil in a pan until it spits back when you flick droplets of water into it. One inch of oil should be enough to submerge the lemon slices.
  7. Fry lemon slices until panko browns. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
  8. In each bowl, place asparagus salad and a few fried lemon slices. Serve while lemon slices are still hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • epicharis
  • Layla Corcoran
    Layla Corcoran
  • Katdan1956
  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • TheThinChef

Recipe by: clintonhillbilly

public interest attorney

18 Reviews

Arianne April 1, 2021
My kiddo doesn't so much with the lemon. Given Meyer lemons - do you think orange would go with this?
epicharis March 26, 2018
This was so good! I eat Meyer lemon raw or candied, and it was a treat to have them fried. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe for asparagus season.
Layla C. January 5, 2014
So the skin of the lemon is edible after frying? Does the consistency/texture of the skin change? How thin or thick must the lemon skin be?
clintonhillbilly January 6, 2014
Yes, the skin is edible after frying--I have only used Meyer lemons for this, which have a pretty thin skin. If you try a different kind of lemon, please let me know the results!
clintonhillbilly April 6, 2013
I am so glad that you enjoyed it, and thank you for taking the time to let me know!
fhp April 5, 2013
This was delicious. Thank You. I have made it twice now. The second time I threw in some Thai Fish sauce. I think I like yours better. My husband (traditionalist) thinks the fried lemons are weird but then so am I.
Katdan1956 April 5, 2013
I love fried lemon slices, lemon, brown sugar and cinnamon , fry and put on my lemon cake .
Blissful B. February 12, 2011
I made your fried meyer lemon slices tonight. I love to try new things that totally surprise me with their flavor. These were delicious. They're perfect as an appetizer at a dinner party. Everyone will tentatively reach for one, and then after eating it, fight everyone for the rest.
clintonhillbilly March 18, 2011
Thanks! They are so easy but they tend to impress!
TheThinChef October 27, 2010
Oh my goodness, I can't wait to make this when asparagus comes back in season!
TheWimpyVegetarian April 19, 2010
I love the fried lemons too! This looks like a great recipe. Congratulations and good luck.
dymnyno April 15, 2010 is an all California event this week!!!!
kaykay April 15, 2010
Congratulations! I really enjoy the spicy/sweet/tangy freshness of Thai food...this sounds really tasty...
mariaraynal April 15, 2010
Wow. So creative -- I love this concept. One could use the fried lemons in any number of preparations. Tough contest this week, for sure!
mrslarkin April 15, 2010
Congrats CH! This sounds outrageously delicious. And so easy!
drbabs April 15, 2010
I knew when I first saw this recipe that it was a winner...i can't wait to try it. (I love worcestershire sauce and meyer lemon like my life depends on them!)
Lizthechef April 7, 2010
Your salad sounds lovely but it is the lemon recipe that really intrigues me...
aargersi April 6, 2010
This sounds really good, I think I could only eat about a million of those lemons, too ...