1/4 cup water
1 pound (about 24) fresh asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, sliced 1/4-inch, separated into rings
1 large (1 cup) red bell pepper, cut into 2x1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh gingerroot*
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili puree with garlic
Place water and asparagus in 2-quart microwave-safe casserole. Cover; microwave on HIGH (100% power) until asparagus is bright green (3 to 4 minutes). Drain; set aside.
Melt butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add onion. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until onion is softened (1 minute). Add asparagus; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until asparagus is crisply tender (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in bell pepper, garlic and gingerroot. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until bell pepper is crisply tender (1 to 2 minutes). Remove skillet from heat.
Combine all sauce ingredients in small bowl. Add sauce to vegetables; toss to coat well.
*Substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
Chili puree with garlic is available in the Oriental section of large grocery stores.