2 lb fresh asparagus, each stalk 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 drops hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1. Snap tough root end off asparagus. Slice stalks into 1 1/2-inch (1.75-cm) lengths to make 3 cups (750 ml) asparagus pieces.
2. In 2 quarts of rapidly boiling, salted water, blanch asparagus for 1 minute. Drain immediately, running cold water over asparagus to stop cooking and set color. Spread on a double thickness of paper towel and pat dry.
3. In a glass bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt and hot pepper sauce. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Add asparagus. Toss to coat each asparagus piece with dressing.
5. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.