Top 9-Free Asparagus Tempura Temaki

These addictive light and crispy Tempura Temaki cones look fancy. But they are easy to make and don’t require a sushi mat to roll up. It might seem hard to find sushi hand rolls that are free of top allergens and gluten.

But no worries, this temaki recipe has you covered, even offering up a substitution for soy.

Photo: Andrew Grinton

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

Ingredients for Temaki

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.

Instructions for Temaki

  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.