Homemade Recipe for Sushi: Asparagus Tempura Roll

Never underestimate the power of Fried Asparagus


Total: 50 - 60 minutes

Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes

Asparagus Tempura: 20 minutes

Rolling: 1-2 minutes

I’ve been saying this since 2012 and probably before: Sushi is not raw fish. Yes, fish happens to be the most popular ingredient. But, haven’t you heard of cucumber avocado roll? If sushi means raw fish (which is not), then what is cucumber avocado roll? It’s still sushi. It’s vegetarian sushi. Isn’t vegetarian sushi a sushi?

I love many of traditional Japanese vegetable sushi : Oshinko (daikon pickles), Kanpyo (dried gourd shaving), and a simple Kappa (cucumber) Roll are some of the examples of great sushi.

Then came the invention(?) of adding avocado to sushi. For most of the vegetarian sushi (and fish sushi), this was such a brilliant move because it added the rich creamy vegetable fatty-ness of avocado that was missing in many of the vegetable ingredients. You can add avocado to almost every vegetarian roll because honestly, you cannot go wrong. Just make sure to keep a nice balance with other ingredients. You never want to taste only avocado. In other words, make sure you know who the main character is.

For this Asparagus tempura roll, the main character is Asparagus tempura. Avocado is the supporting actor. It should be there to assist the flavor of Asparagus Tempura. Not too little, but not too much either. Where to draw a line? Well, that is up to you.

Fried food is good. Tempura is great. When you “roll” tempura into a sushi, anything tastes fantastic (well, almost.)

In fact, most of the tempura is non-fish but vegetables: carrots, shishito peppers, yam, potato, shitake mushroom just to name a few. Traditionally, tempura sauce (soy sauce and dashi stock) is a popular way to enjoy it, but when you make a roll, teriyaki or eel sauce is a great sauce to use.

If tempura is too much to do, you can coat the asparagus in breadcrumbs and bake in the oven instead.


Tempura Batter

Make “egg water” first. When you make egg water, make sure to pour water in a bowl first, then add the egg. If place the egg in the bowl, and add water, it will produce undissolved egg white. If you prefer vegan, then skip the egg and just add water instead.

Cold water vs. Normal water?

Many recipes call for ice cold water or add water to the tempura batter. The verdict, according to the Michelin stared Japanese tempura chef, there is no need to use ice cold water. “It will only make it difficult to fry because it will create more temperature difference between the batter and the oil.”

Drop some tempura batter to check the temperature

Use the cooking chopsticks or spoon to drop some tempura batter into the oil. If the batter float right back to the oil surface after hitting the bottom of the pan, then the oil is ready.

INGREDIENTS (for one roll):


  • ½ (200g) cup Sushi Rice

  • 1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet

  • 3 - 5 g Wasabi

  • Teriyaki Sauce

Asparagus Tempura

  • 2 - 6 pcs Asparagus

  • 1 egg

  • 3 oz. (100 g) Flour

  • 1.5 cups (360 cc) water

  • Rice Bran Oil (or Canola Oil)

  • Sesame Oil


  • Cutting Board

  • Knife

  • Large Spoon

  • Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat

  • Small sheet pans (or plate)

  • Small Bowl

  • Whisk

  • Frying pan

  • Tong or Long Wood Cooking Chopsticks


Asparagus Tempura

  • Make “egg water.” In a small bowl, pour 1.5 cups of water first, then egg.