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How to Cut Asparagus for Tasty Eats

Not all parts of the asparagus stalk are equally delicious. We’ll share how to cut asparagus the right way for tasty eats.

Asparagus spears grow up out of the ground, sprouting up from the root crown. The growing tips are the most tender, while the stalks turn tough right above ground level. We want to remove the woody part at the bottom of the stalk.

cut asparagus on cutting board

If you’re growing your own asparagus, you’ll find that the stalks easily snap off just above the woody part. Bunches of asparagus from the store or farmers market usually include the tough bottoms.

How to Cut Asparagus, Step by Step

I recommend trimming for all three types of asparagus – green, white, and purple.

The fastest way to trim asparagus:

  1. Line up the stalks on a wooden cutting board with the bottoms even.
  2. Use a large knife to cut across the stems and remove about 1 inch from the very bottom.
  3. Alternatively, pick up each stalk individually and bend it near the bottom. The woody part should snap off.
  4. Cut the asparagus into shorter pieces, if desired, or leave whole. Use immediately, preserve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Leave stems whole for refrigerator storage.

Cutting all the stems in one group works best with stems of similar size and age. Ideally, it’s best to check a single stem to see where the woody part ends, and then use that stem as a guide to cut the rest.

Dealing with Tougher Spears

The older the spear is, the larger the woody section will be. In my garden, I find that the thickness or thinness doesn’t matter as much as growing conditions. Spears grown with plenty of water and rich soil have shorter woody sections. Spears growing in dry conditions and poor soil tend to have larger woody sections.

Sometimes when you buy bundles of spears, you’ll find that the skin is a little tough and dried out, but the inside is still tender. Trim off the toughest part at the bottom, and then use a peeler to remove the tough skin.

how to cut asparagus

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Using Your Asparagus

Once cut, you can use your spears right away, or preserve them for later use. Asparagus adds a pop of flavor and color to stir fries, soups, quiche, casseroles, and more. We often cook it up with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

See also:

How to Store Asparagus in the Refrigerator

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

How to Freeze Asparagus

Pickled Asparagus

How to Freeze Dry Asparagus

Dehydrating Asparagus

Author & Homesteader Laurie Neverman Profile Photo

This article is written by Laurie Neverman. Laurie grew up in the kitchen, learning baking and home cooking from her momma. At age 15, she and her mom and two sisters created Irene’s Custom Cakes & Catering, which was her summer job through most of high school and college.

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