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Big-Pot Blanching: Asparagus

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 15:17 min

Blanching gives you bright, vibrant, and well-seasoned vegetables. Learn Chef Keller’s technique, and find out his favorite tools for peeling asparagus.

Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques
Learn techniques for cooking vegetables and eggs and making pastas from scratch from the award-winning chef and proprietor of The French Laundry.

About the Instructor

Thomas Keller has won more Michelin stars than any chef in America. In his first online cooking class, the founder of The French Laundry and Per Se teaches you the underlying techniques of making great food so you can go beyond the cookbook. Learn how to confit vegetables, poach perfect eggs, make hand-shaped pasta, and bring Michelin star-quality meals to your kitchen.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I learned a lot, much more than just cooking, I feel grateful with Mr. Thomas Keller and the Master Class Team for making this amazing piece of art work, thank you very much.

Best class so far, clearly, focused, straight forward, with plenty of details and proper temperature guidelines.

Thomas is an excellent teacher and his love for his craft and artform is evident in his approach to sharing technique and tips. It sounds like he would be a great​ kitchen to cook in as he really seems gentle natured and yet I am sure he is a task master as he works overseeing his team of chefs.

Great techniques I use every day in the kitchen.


A fellow student

So, this is a problem that I've had that probably has a very simple answer. After you shock the asparagus, (if you choose to do so), how do you bring it back up to temp if you want to serve it warm without overcooking or losing color? Do you just saute a little? I assume you need to take it out maybe 30 seconds or a minute early to adjust for additional cooking in the pan?

Daniel P.

I used sea salt in my water and did my part in peeling the asparagus. The peeling part was a little messy but I managed to get it done and put the asparagus in the pot of boiling water. I let boil for about 3 minutes and then pulled my two bundles out. I shocked both and let sit for like a minute and a half in the ice water. Put on a plate and ate one. It was delicious, not too salty. I would like to try wrapping bacon around or use cheese next time. I didn't know that peeling the asparagus would be so good and I would do this from now on. I liked how mine came out.

A fellow student

I didn't understand how long to keep the asparagus in the water. He mentioned feeling for the resistance but I'm not sure how exactly that should feel. Let me know if you have some tips!

Nancy D.

This technique really highlights the color and flavor. Blanched these beautiful asparagus from our local farm and dressed with olive oil and sea salt - delicious!

Marcel S.

The Tips about scrubbing the asparagus and also breaking it so it will break at the point where hardness and tenderness meet have been really helpful. :)


he was using apple as an example to demonstrate the differences between two kinds of peelers. that's all


what did he do with the apple? He made a big deal of it & then never used it?

Michael C.

Can anybody confirm for me, does he snap of the stems then proceed to cut more off once the stalks are bundled? Or is he cutting off only the stem once the stalks are bundled?


that's a great lesson. so many simple things we tend to overlook. But what about the apple?

Sean or Christina K.

Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. I was very excited about this lesson. I bought "pencil" asparagus. The sponge technique does not work as well as the L'Econome due to thickness (or lack thereof). I bundled approximately 10 and blanched for only 2 minutes since the asparagus was thin.