- To make this beer-battered asparagus, place the oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.
- Whisk together flour, salt, zest, and pepper in a bowl until combined, then add India pale ale, whisking until smooth.
- Heat three inches oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until it registers 350-375°F on thermometer.
- Use tongs to dip asparagus spears in batter to coat. Drag one at a time gently against rim to remove excess batter, then transfer to oil and fry, stirring gently to keep asparagus from sticking together, until golden - 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer as fried with tongs to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Return oil to 350-375°F between batches.