I have to apologise before I begin this post. I know you’re probably here because you’re after the recipe for grilled asparagus (and that does exist) but I should warn you that this post is predominantly a story about pee. Yes, pee. And specifically, about how I only learned a couple of weeks ago that asparagus makes your pee smell funny.

If you would rather not hear about pee, well, too bad.

(No not really, if you don’t want to hear about pee, please just skip right on down to the recipe. If you do want to hear about pee, please continue!)

So. I don’t really eat a lot of asparagus. If I do, it’s usually in some mixed stir fry dish with about half a dozen other vegetables. But a couple of weekends ago, we were in Harris Farms and I saw this adorable bunch of baby asparagus (when you coo at baby vegetables, you know you’re clucky) and I had to have them. So we bought them, steamed them and had them as the sole vegetable with some steak.

That evening, I went to pee. I thought it smelled a little funky but didn’t think much of it. Just my luck, Panu wanted to use to bathroom right after me. He was in there for about 0.005 seconds when I hear this loud exclamation “oh my GOD did you fart or something?!”

Fart? Me? Of course not. Girls don’t fart, and if we did, they’d totally smell like strawberry cupcakes.

And then he peed. And holy shit, it was like a sulphur atom bomb had landed in our tiny little bathroom.

And people, this is how I learned that asparagus makes your pee stink. I now realise that there have been many a scientific paper written on this fact, too many to link to, but if you’re interested, just Google “why does asparagus make my pee stink” and you too can be an expert on the subject.

Anyway, after this little incident, Panu and I decided no more asparagus on its own. Or maybe, ever. In a cruel twist of fate (ok not really, I am very appreciative of all things sent to me), two days later, the Australian Asparagus Council sends me a big box of you’ll never guess what. Asparagus!

Oh, Murphy.

Well, it wasn’t all bad. We had guests coming over for dinner on Sunday night, and I was cooking a big pot of lamb tava (Cypriot slow cooked lamb, Panu’s all time favourite). I was wondering what side would go appropriately. I wanted something warm (not a salad) but not too heavy (not cauliflower bake, which was a close winner).

So when the asparagus showed up on my doorstep, it was just all too easy: grilled asparagus with shaved parmesan. Super easy and incredibly delicious:

And totally worth it to have stinky pee again. In fact, so worth it that I’ve found a few uses for left over grilled asparagus, like my tomato, avocado, asparagus and parmesan lunch, served on a piece of roti. SO. YUM.

Well, asparagus is in season now, so check out these recipes.

Grilled asparagus with shaved parmesan
3-4 large bunches of asparagus
Olive oil
A block of parmesan (shaved), or a pack of pre-shaved parmesan
Cracked pepper and salt to taste
  1. Wash the asparagus and prepare by cutting off the dry ends (about 1cm in is usually fine). Place on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to ensure they are all well coated.
  2. Fire up the grill (we use a Weber BabyQ) to a medium heat and lay the asparagus perpendicular to the grill (basically, so they don’t fall in).
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then roll the asparagus over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, sprinkle with shaved parmesan and season with pepper and salt to taste.
Serves 4 as a side dish.

12 Thoughts on “recipe | grilled asparagus with parmesan shavings

  1. LOL. I thought it was only tinned asparagus that made your pee smell (cos it already smells like pee)!

  2. LOL!!!!! I love asparagus too muh to stop eating but the stinky pee sure is a good argument

  3. Hahah that is a great story! I also only recently learned that asparagus makes my wee smell weird.

  4. Hehe I can’t believe that you blogged about pee 😛 You are too funny!

  5. You should try eating beetroot and asparagus. Red tinted AND whiffy. Holy crap, I thought I was dying! It’s also put Mrs GW off it for good – which means all the more for me! I’ll soldier on through the sulpher bombs and funk just for a bite of thick Hereford asparagus dipped in melted butter or just-poached egg yolk. It’s totally worth it.

  6. LOL I could’ve told you that sweetie! 😀 I wouldn’t mind a parcel like that behind my door, I love asparagus (even despite the side affects…)! 😉

  7. I love having asparagus as a side dish! & of course potato mash 😀

  8. Oh wow…I totally did not know that! Because I love asparagus and haven’t noticed that it makes your pee stink oops lol reminder to self only eat at home and never on a date 😛

  9. Nic: hahaha well just make sure you only eat it at home and not at a friend’s house or something!

    jenny: I can’t believe I didn’t know for so long!

    Lorraine: Yes, nothing is sacred…

    Grubworm: I’m totally going to soldier on through it too cos it’s too delicious! Haven’t tried with beetroot though…

    Maria: I didn’t think to ask you! So, does any other veg make your pee smell funny??

    tastyfoodsnaps: Oh yes, potato mash. Haven’t had that in a while…

    Daisy: well funnily enough if you read the research, something like 22% of people can’t smell the chemical that makes your pee funny. Maybe you are one of the 22%!

  10. Cat, petai makes your pee stink something fierce. Worse than asparagus in my opinion. But it’s great stir fried with sambal belacan!


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