We often have fried rice in various guises, either as accompaniment or as a one-dish light meal. In this version, fresh asparagus gives nuttiness and crisp texture that cannot be achieved with the canned product. TIP: 1. It is essential for the cooked rice to be loose-grained. Either pre-wash the rice in cold water to remove the free starch or allow cooked rice to cool to room temperature and then fluff with two-pronged fork. Attempting the latter with unwashed warm rice will result in a sticky mush. Cooking time does not include cooking the rice as this step can be done in advance. 2. A non-stick or seasoned carbon steel wok is most suitable for stir-frying rice. VARIATIONS: 1. Replace the asparagus with chopped mushrooms, fresh peppers, bacon, ham, canned tuna or any other ingredient, or any combination. Also add scrambled raw egg to the rice while constantly stirring in final stages of frying for added flavour. 2. Replace red onion with white, green or spring, or shallots as and when available. 3. Spiciness is varied by adding more or less crushed chillies and using fresh green or red chillies add to colour. 4. Rice can be cooked in any stock of your choice, or add two teaspoonsful of any soup powder mix to the water in which the rice is cooked to achieve subtle variations in taste.