Wash and snap the asparagus stalks, cook in rapidly boiling salted water for 2 minutes, or until crispy tender. Refresh under cold water and drain. Pat the stalks dry with paper towels. The asparagus can be prepared 24 hours ahead.
Just before serving melt butter in sauce pan with the soy sauce, lemon juice and pepper. Boil these ingredients down to syrupy glaze.
Add asparagus and cook over high heat, shaking the pan so the stalks roll around in the sauce for a minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve at once.