Asparagus and Beef Sushi Roll

Spring is the best season for green asparagus. A sushi roll filled with asparagus and sweet-and-savory beef gives you a combination of flavors and textures and a hint of fragrant shiso leaves.

Asparagus and Beef Sushi Roll
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi

Recipe by
Akiko Watanabe







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 6 green asparagus
  • [Sweet and Savory Simmered Beef]

    • 80 g beef trimmings (cut into 2 cm wide strips)
    • 1/2 piece ginger (cut into thin shreds)
    • [A]

      • 50 ml water
      • 1 tbsp sugar
      • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 360 ml rice (2 rice measuring cups)
  • [B]

    • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sheets nori seaweed (full sheet)
  • 4 shiso leaves (cut into thin shreds)

    Shiso, sometimes referred to as perilla, is a Japanese herb with a refreshing fragrance used to garnish or add zest to a wide range of dishes.

  • A small amount of wasabi

    Japanese horseradish. Has a refreshing and hot pungent smell.

  • Salt



Rinse the rice and place in the inner bowl of the rice cooker. Add less water than normal, to cook rice that's slightly firm. Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus and use a vegetable peeler to peel 1/3 from the bottom.


Using a frying pan, boil just enough water to cover the asparagus and add a pinch of salt (about 1/2 tsp of salt added to 600 ml of water). Add the asparagus and boil for a couple of minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.


Put [A] in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Add the beef and ginger. Stirring occasionally, simmer until the liquid has all but disappeared.


Spread the cooked rice out on a tray. Fold [B] into the rice and cool with a fan.


Fold the seasoning into the rice before fanning to prevent the rice from clumping together.


Make a middle-sized sushi roll. Place a sheet of nori on a makisu mat, with the smooth and glossy side facing down. Spread 220 g of sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving about 4 cm from the top. Place half the simmered beef evenly across the center. Lay two stalks of asparagus alongside the beef. Fold the mat over to bring the edges of the rice together and roll. Repeat the process to make another roll. Cut into 2 cm wide pieces.


Make a thin sushi roll. Cut the remaining sheet of nori lengthwise in half. As with the medium-sized roll, place one half sheet across, smooth side down, on the makisu mat. Spread 80 g of rice evenly over the nori leaving about 2 cm from the top. Spread a thin layer of wasabi across the center of the rice. Lay the shredded shiso along the wasabi. Place one stalk of asparagus alongside the shiso. Fold the mat over to bring the edges of the rice together and roll. Repeat the process to make another roll. Cut into 3 cm wide pieces.