Yakitori-Inspired Spicy Asparagus and Bacon

5 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 lb thin asparagus, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ichimi togarashi (coarsely ground dried Japanese chili)*

Fry the bacon pieces until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the asparagus and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon. Sprinkle with ichimi togarashi. Serve immediately.

*Shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder) is a good alternative.

My thoughts:

One of my favorite yakitori dishes is bacon-wrapped asparagus served on a skewer. It is so simple but so good, especially when they go the extra step of sprinkling it with spices. I was going to make that but the asparagus I had was so skinny, it was unskewerable. So I took the idea and made this sauteed version instead. Just as good but a little easier, making it a great choice for a weeknight side dish. The  ichimi togarashi adds some heat but not overwhelmingly so letting the asparagus really shine.

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