Peel the asparagus and cut off the hard bottom ends, about 3 cm.***
Cut the stalks into smaller pieces, about 3-4 cm long.
Put into a pan with the water and chicken stock cubes and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat up the sesame oil and brown the ground chicken.
Mix the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and sambal.
Add sauce to the browned chicken and stir.
When the asparagus are fork tender, carefully take them out of the broth with a slotted spoon and add to the chicken.****
Carefully fold in the asparagus.
Serve with the soba noodles.
*In Sambal Bajak, the chili peppers are fried with oil, onions, terasi, garlic, candlenuts and other spices. The paste is milder than Sambal Oelek/Ulek and much more fragrant. You can use other types of chili sauce for this.
**I did not have any fresh ones at hand, so I used dried spring onions
***Do not throw the peels and hard ends away. If you boil them in chicken stock , they make a great soup! Boil for at least 30 minutes, let sit overnight, strain. Heat it up, add some cream and fresh parsley, serve with warm bread.
****You can use the broth to make soup or sauce.