Pour the sesame seeds into a skillet and cook over medium heat just until fragrant and golden. Watch them carefully as they can go from golden to burnt quickly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the asparagus and cook until it turns bright green – about 5 minutes. It should be tender-crisp.
Drain the asparagus and then plunge the spears into a big bowl of ice and water. Leave it until it is cool and then drain it and pat it dry. Arrange it on a serving platter and set aside.
Put the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, orange juice, soy, canola, Sambal Oelek and sesame oil in a blender and blend until a smooth dressing forms.
Pour the dressing evenly over the asparagus and sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds.
Enjoy as a side or you can add to noodles and tofu to create a great summer salad.
Asparagus season is only six precious weeks each year. After that, the grower must stop picking so the plants can grow into tall ferns that collect nutrients from the sun and feed the roots. A perennial, these plants can produce for 20 years once they are established.