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.
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
2 - 6 pcs Asparagus
3 oz. (100 g) Flour
1.5 cups (360 cc) water
Rice Bran Oil (or Canola Oil)
Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat
Small sheet pans (or plate)
Tong or Long Wood Cooking Chopsticks
Make “egg water.” In a small bowl, pour 1.5 cups of water first, then egg.
Egg white is water soluble, so when you place it egg in the water, egg white will dissolve first, then egg yolk. When you beat egg in a bowl first and then add water, some of the egg white will sit at the bottom of the bowl, undissolved.
Strain 2 oz. of flour into a bowl, add 2 oz. egg water (egg water: flour = 1:1)
In a frying pan, pour rice bran (or canola) oil and Sesame Oil to 1 – 1 ¼ inches deep. The ratio of Rice Bran Oil: Sesame Oil is 1:1.
Drop some tempura batter into the oil. If it come right back to the surface after hitting the bottom, then the oil is ready.
Place flour in a sheet pan. Place prepared Asparagus in a sheet pan, coat with flour. Life up the Asparagus, shake to remove the excess flour.
Place the Asparagus into tempura batter. Life up, hold it for three to five seconds to remove the excess batter.
Place the batter coated Asparagus into the oil 375F (190C). Fry for one to two minutes until light yellow. Remove from the oil, let the shrimp sit on a paper towel.
Make Sushi Rice (follow this recipe).
Wipe the cutting board with a wet towel to moisten.
Place half sheet nori horizontally, rough side facing up.
Wet your hands.
Grab sushi rice, half the amount of inside out roll, approximately 200g.
Leave top 1/8 inch/3mm blank.
Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure, spread the sushi rice horizontally.
With your right hand, making a “U” shape, guide the sushi rice so that it covers the top half to 2/3 of nori.
Rhythmically, turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the nori with rice, leaving ½ inch/1cm left blank.
Clean your hands with the wet towel, dip your fingers in the water.
Using fingertips, apply the pressure, Leave right ½ inch/1cm blank.
Continue spreading the rice leaving 1/8 inch /3mm left and bottom edge.
Turn the Nori 90 degrees counterclockwise.
Using the index finger, place some wasabi just below the center of the Nori.
Place Asparagus tempura, avocado on the rice.
Pick up the bottom edge of Nori, roll from the bottom up.
Seal tightly with the fingers, place Makisu and seal the roll tighter.
Cut the center first, and then into four pieces.
Plate and pour some teriyaki sauce.
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