Top 8-Free Asparagus Tempura Temaki

These addictive light and crispy cones look fancy, but they are easy to make and don’t require a sushi mat to roll up. Photo: Andrew Grinton

Makes: 12 hand rolls
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


Sweet Chili Aioli
  • 1/2 cup allergy-friendly mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Ponzu Sauce
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos (for soy free)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin (rice cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp grated daikon radish
  • 1 cup dry sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Canola oil or other high-heat oil, for frying
  • 1 cup sweet white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup cold sparkling water
  • 24-48 stalks asparagus (depending on thickness), trimmed and cut in half
  • 6 nori sheets
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, julienned (optional)

Recipe Tips

Unfried Version: Steam asparagus halves for 4-8 minutes or until tender. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Pit, peel and thinly slice 2 medium avocados. Peel and grate 1 medium carrot. Assemble per directions, but top chilled asparagus with avocado slices and grated carrot.


  1. For sweet chili aioli, in a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, cilantro, lemon juice, ginger and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. For ponzu sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce or coconut aminos, juices, vinegar, mirin, sugar and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before serving, stir in daikon radish.
  3. For sushi rice, prepare rice according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. In a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, sugar, mirin and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Don’t let mixture to boil.
  5. Transfer cooked rice to a large bowl. Gently fold half of vinegar mixture into rice. Taste and add more vinegar mixture as needed for a lightly sweet, acidic taste. Cover until ready to use.
  6. For asparagus tempura, fill a deep fryer with oil, or a large pot with 4-6 inches oil, and preheat to 375° F.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add sparkling water, whisking just until smooth. Let batter rest for 2 minutes.
  8. Dip asparagus halves in batter to coat. Fry for 2 minutes per batch, or until crisp and golden. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
  9. To assemble temaki, fold nori sheets in half and pinch seam. Open and gently tear into 2 sheets.
  10. Place a nori sheet half in your hand, shiny side down. Place ¼ cup rice on left third of half sheet. Moisten fingers of your other hand and press rice to evenly cover left half, stopping ¼-inch from bottom edge.
  11. Place 4-8 pieces asparagus tempura on rice at an angle, from top left corner to bottom right corner. Top with a few bell pepper and cucumber pieces (if using).
  12. Starting at bottom left corner, roll nori into a cone shape. Put a few rice pieces at bottom right corner of nori to help seal.
  13. Serve temaki with sweet chili aioli and ponzu sauce.

are the husband-and-wife culinary team behind Chef Joel is the former Special Dietary Manager at Walt Disney World who developed the food allergy program used across the Disney properties and cruise line.