Chilled Asparagus With Sesame Vinaigrette

2-3 lbs. fresh asparagus (16-18 spears per pound)
5 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

€¢ Cut approximately 1 inch or more off the ends of the asparagus stalks and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, pare approximately 1 inch or so off the stalks to remove any remaining tough fibers.
€¢ Steam or blanch the asparagus in boiling water until crisp but tender (the amount of time will vary depending on the size of the stalks). Drain and immerse in ice water to chill. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and place in a serving dish.
€¢ Mix the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Adjust the flavor with the salt and pepper as desired. Pour over the asparagus and marinate for several hours in the refrigerator.
€¢ Serve garnished with the toasted sesame seeds.

Makes 8 servings