Crunchy Asparagus Rolls

I’m kind of a quiet person.  I don’t think anyone would ever accuse me of “oversharing.”  It’s not the most conducive personality toward self-promotion in the blogging world, but it’s how I am.  I constantly ask myself the question, “How much should I share with my readers?” I have a personal blog where I post lots of stories and pictures about family life.  I feel like this blog should focus more on the food and recipes.

So, in a break from my reserved self, I want to share this story with you.

Very recently, I was pregnant.  Then, heartbreakingly, I wasn’t.  It wasn’t the first time.  Or even the second.  I didn’t realize it would be so difficult to have another child. At first, I couldn’t even talk to my family about it.  Eventually, I told a few friends, and trusted that they would discreetly pass the information along to others.  In private, I cried a lot.  At work, I focused on connecting with my students, doing well on an important evaluation, and getting through the day.  I neglected this blog and social media for a bit.  I gave my son extra hugs and kisses.

For the three months that I was pregnant, I craved all the foods that I was supposed to avoid – hot dogs, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and sushi.  Oh, sushi.  How I missed you.  One of my favorite sushi restaurants served the best crunchy asparagus roll.  I started making them at home to satisfy my sushi craving.  It wasn’t the same as my beloved spicy tuna kobachi, but the toasted seaweed-seasoned rice-crunchy exterior combination took enough of the edge off the craving.

original recipe

Crunchy Asparagus Rolls

Crunchy Asparagus Rolls


3 cups water
2 cups sushi rice
1/2 c rice vinegar
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 c flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c panko crumbs
Oil for frying
4 sheets toasted nori
Wasabi paste


  1. For the rice: heat water and rice in a saucepan until boiling, stirring a few times. Turn heat to low, cover, and let cook until water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer rice to a wide bowl. With a rubber spatula, fan rice out to cover the entire inside surface of the bowl. Let the rice sit for a minute to cool off, then gently bring rice back together in the center of the bowl. Repeat fanning process 4-5 more times until rice has cooled to room temperature. Sprinkle rice vinegar, sugar, and salt over the rice and gently stir to evenly distribute.
  3. While the rice is cooking and cooling, prepare the asparagus. Blanch asparagus spears in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove spears from boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process. Lay on a clean towel to dry.
  4. Set up a dredging station with three shallow dishes; place flour in first one, egg in the second, and panko crumbs in the third. Coat asparagus in the flour, then the egg, then roll in the panko. Place on a baking sheet. Pour enough oil in a cast iron skillet (or something wide enough to hold the asparagus) to make a 1-inch layer. Heat to 350 degrees and fry asparagus in batches until browned on all sides, about 1-2 minutes total. Place fried asparagus spears on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  5. Assemble the rolls: lay one sheet of toasted nori on a rolling mat (optional.) Carefully spread rice in a thin, even layer over the nori, leaving a 1/2 inch of the far edge of the nori bare. Gently pat the rice flat. Place three asparagus spears on the rice, and roll the nori, starting with the edge closest to you. Gently press the roll together as you roll. Cut the sushi roll into 6-8 even pieces. Serve with a dollop of wasabi.

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Sweet Comments:

  1. Oh Suzanne I’m so sorry to read about your loss(es). I’m glad to read about it and know where “you’ve been” in the past few months of your life. Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way. I’m always a text message a way! 🙂

    On a side note… this sushi looks fab and mouth watering as always!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sending a hug your way. These crunchy rolls look really good. I missed sushi when I was pregnant too. In fact, on the day K was born, I sent my husband out to get me sushi!

  3. What a great post. I agree completely with your approach; it is very close to my own. When I was pregnant in 2005-2006, I also ate sushi occasionally, and indulged in steak that was cooked medium-rare. In a strange parallel, the only time I ever got truly sick (as in not just a case of morning – or in my case, all-day – sickness) was after eating some chicken tacos from Chipotle! (I’m not maligning Chipotle btw, and have eaten those same tacos several times since!) I even indulged in a sip of wine every now and then (after my first trimester was over). This was all with the blessing of my very wonderful OB/GYN.

  4. this one looks so good, I love sushi but I don’t like raw fish, normally I made sushi with fried prawns or avocado &carrot . this recipe is great idea, thanks:-)

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your losses. I’m sure it was so hard. huge hugs and hope to see you again soon!

    PS I think it’s good to share stories. I love reading what’s going on in the lives of the bloggers I follow 🙂


  1. […] I was perusing the mighty internetz during downtime at work for bento ideas, I came across this recipe for crunchy asparagus rolls. I thought it looked so delicious! However, I didn’t really want to fry the vegetable, so I […]

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