Flavorful asparagus sushi roll with avocado and cucumber, resulting in the yummiest AAC roll! Seriously, it tastes better than restaurant ones. Plus it’s healthy too!

Asparagus AAC roll held by chopsticks, getting dipped into soy sauce.

Why You Will Love This Asparagus Sushi Roll


  • 🌱 Healthy & Nutritious: Packed with brown rice and fresh vegetables.
  • 🍣 Clear Instructions: Step-by-step instructions with photos to ensure even beginners can make sushi at home!
  • 🎉 Super Fun: Okay just being clear here, your first few sushi rolls might not hold up when cut, nor look as nice as the photos here, but it’s really fun to make one! I like making sushi parties so everyone can try their hands on rolling sushi!
  • 🎨 Mix and Match: Sushi is super versatile when it comes to what you want as fillings! Pick your own veggies or use up the ones you have in your fridge!
Asparagus avocado cucumber roll being held by chopsticks, with more sushi in the background.

What is an AAC Sushi Roll?

AAC Sushi Roll is a type of sushi roll popular in the US that includes Asparagus, Avocado, and Cucumber as its fillings. This makes for a fresh and crunchy vegetarian & vegan option in many restaurants!

A bunch of asparagus sushi roll with avocado and cucumber, taken from above.

Ingredients

For the Sushi Rice:

  • Sushi rice: Sticky rice that is essential for forming sushi rolls.
  • Brown rice: Adds extra nutrition to the sushi rice.
    • Feel free to skip this and just use regular sushi rice, or use brown sushi rice. I did not have access to brown sushi rice when I made this AAC roll, which is why I use both sushi rice and brown rice.
  • Rice vinegar: Adds tanginess and helps season the sushi rice.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the vinegar mixture to balance flavors.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall taste of the sushi rice.
  • Sesame seeds: Provides a nutty flavor to the rolls.
Ingredients for AAC Asparagus Sushi Roll with labels on a white marbled background.

And the Veggies!

  • Asparagus: Instead of making asparagus tempura like many other recipes, we will grill them to give that nice char without the hassle of deep frying!
  • Avocado: Creamy texture that complements the other ingredients.
  • Cucumber: Refreshing crunch to the sushi.
  • Nori sheets: The black seaweed wraps that hold the sushi roll together.
  • Soy sauce: Traditional dipping sauce for sushi, adding umami flavor. Or sub this with my Dynamite Sauce for a flavor-packed experience!
Avocado AAC rolls in a white plate, some showing the fillings while others show the nori sides.

Step-by-step Instructions

Prepare the rice: Cook your sushi rice according to package instructions.

Make the rice vinegar seasoning: In a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Microwave the mixture in 15-second increments, stirring in between until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Season the rice: Transfer your cooked rice into a large casserole dish/large bowl/hangiri (sushi oke). Gradually add the vinegar mixture to the rice, gently folding it in with a rice paddle or silicone spatula to season evenly. Allow the seasoned rice to cool to room temperature.

For the full tips and tricks on how to make the perfect sushi rice using brown rice, check out this Healthy Sushi Rice guide!

Prep the veggies: While the rice is cooling, prepare the asparagus by trimming off the woody ends. Simply bend the asparagus and it will snap to let you know which parts are woody and to be discarded.

Slice the avocado and cucumber into thin strips.

Grill the asparagus: Grill the asparagus in a frying pan or grill pan with vegetable oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, until charred and tender (about 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway). Alternatively, bake them in the oven at 425°F (220°C) for 12 minutes.

Add sesame seeds: Sprinkle the sesame seeds to your cooled rice. Fold to mix.

Assemble the sushi: Lay a sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi mat, shiny side down. Spread a layer of seasoned rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 1-inch border at the bottom. You want to cover about half of the nori (see picture below).

Pack in more rice to cover the left and the right sides. Use your hands to help the rice stay on top of the nori so it doesn’t fall out into the bamboo mat.

Arrange avocado slices, cucumber strips, and grilled asparagus horizontally across the center of the rice-covered nori sheet.

Rolling time: Use your thumbs to lift up the bamboo mat and roll it over the fillings, using your other fingers to hold the fillings in place. Continue rolling tightly until you reach the end, massaging the roll in between to pack the ingredients in.

Once you reach the end, moisten the top edge of the nori with water to seal the roll. I just wet my fingers and slide them across.

Slice: Using a sharp, damp knife, slice the sushi roll in half, then continue cutting each half into 4 pieces to make 8 pieces in total. Clean the knife with a damp cloth between cuts to ensure clean slices.

Serve: Arrange the Asparagus Sushi Rolls on a serving plate and serve with soy sauce or my spicy mayo for dipping. For condiments, you might want to also serve these asparagus avocado and cucumber roll with pickled ginger and wasabi!

A bunch of asparagus, avocado, and cucumber sushi rolls on a plate.

Substitutions Options

  • The Rice: Feel free to use just regular white sushi rice or just brown sushi rice. However, do NOT use only regular brown rice. Regular brown rice won’t stick so your sushi will fall apart.
    • If you cannot find brown sushi rice, try any brown short-grained rice. They may not market them as sushi rice but short-grained rice tends to be stickier!
  • Bamboo Mat (Makisu): Rolling sushi with a bamboo mat helps shape and compact the roll evenly.
Close-up of AAC sushi rolls on a plate; the sushi rice mixed with sesame seeds.

Top Tips

  • Cool the rice: Allow the seasoned rice to cool to room temperature before rolling. Otherwise, the nori will ‘wilt’ and it will be hard to roll.
  • Cut with a clean & damp knife: Most homemade sushi is fine until you slice them. This is the part where the fillings can fall apart.
    • To prevent that, use a sharp, damp knife to slice the sushi roll into pieces so the rice won’t stick together.
    • Clean the knife with a damp cloth between every 2-4 cuts to ensure clean slices.
  • Don’t give up! Just because your sushi falls apart the first time you made it, it doesn’t mean that you’re just not meant to make sushi! Keep on trying and you’ll get the hang of it soon!
Someone holding up asparagus avocado cucumber (AAC) sushi roll using a pair of chopsticks.

Serving Suggestions

If you want to amp up this AAC Roll, serve it with some spicy mayo/aioli. Choose from making either Sriracha Mayo, Kimchi Aioli, or Gochujang Aioli. If you want a milder heat, it pairs well with my Peppercorn Lemon Aioli. You can also go with Yuzu Mayo or Citrus Aioli for a refreshing taste.

Any type of sushi is also best when served with…more sushi! Also try my humble Kappa Maki (Cucumber Sushi), Peanut Avocado Roll, Shiitake Roll, or Kimchi Roll to make at home! Or try my Inari Avocado Roll for a protein boost!

Two pairs of chopsticks grabbing two pieces of asparagus sushi from a plate full of AAC rolls.

Storage and Meal Prep Instructions

Storage: Sushi is best when fresh!

But if there are leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 1 day for the best quality, but will keep for up to 3-4 days.

Meal Prep: You can prepare the sushi rice, grill the asparagus, and slice the vegetables ahead of time. Store each component separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the asparagus rolls!

Freezing: Do NOT freeze this AAC sushi roll as it will change the texture.

Dipping asparagus avocado cucumber roll into soy sauce.

FAQ

Yes! Sushi is easily customizable so feel free to experiment. Use any vegetables that will hold up its shape like carrots, mushrooms, and bell peppers. You can also add tofu for some extra protein and make tofu sushi roll that way.

Snapping asparagus helps remove the tough, woody ends, ensuring you only eat the tender parts. You can also just cut off the woody ends using a knife if you are more experienced in cutting asparagus.

Yes, you can. But I find that searing or roasting them adds that depth of flavor, making it 10 times more delicious haha, which is why this asparagus roll calls for it!

Yes, asparagus is often used in veggie sushi rolls for its crisp texture and vibrant color! It’s a great addition to making sushi accessible to vegetarians and vegans.

Traditional Japanese sushi is usually just the nori sheet, sushi rice, and some kind of toppings, usually fish. Some variations may use vegetables like cucumber (e.g. this Kappa Maki Sushi), Ume plums (e.g. this Umeshiso Roll), or even fermented soybeans (e.g. this Natto Rolls). So although fish is the main focus, some do include vegetables.

No, asparagus is not native specifically to Japan; it originates from Europe, northern Africa, and Asia.

A white plate full of asparagus sushi rolls with cucumber and avocado on a white marble.

Want More Asian Recipes?

Try my Gochujang Ramen/Noodles, my Tandoori Pasta, or my Marinated Tofu recipe.

Prefer something sweet instead? Then check out this Strawberry Oat Milk, my Coconut Matcha Latte (Both Iced or Warm), my Nutella Daifuku Mochi, or my Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream Mochi!

Asparagus Sushi Roll (AAC Sushi Roll + Step-by-step PHOTOS!)

Asparagus sushi roll with cucumber and avocado being dipped into soy sauce.
Flavorful asparagus sushi roll with avocado and cucumber, resulting in the yummiest AAC roll! It tastes better than restaurant ones, and it's healthy too!
Jem @ The Fruity Jem
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serving Size 4 rolls

Ingredients

For the Sushi Rice

  • ½ cup brown rice (see notes below)
  • ½ cup sushi rice (see notes below)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons sesame seeds

And the Fillings!

  • 8-12 stalks asparagus
  • salt and pepper to season the asparagus
  • 1 small avocado
  • ¼ English cucumber seeds removed
  • 4 nori sheets
  • soy sauce for serving (see notes below)

Instructions

Prepare the Sushi Rice + Veggies:

  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Mix well until the sugar and salt are dissolved. If they are not fully dissolved, microwave in 15-second increments.
  • As you wait for the rice to cook, prepare the asparagus by removing the woody stems. You can simply bend the asparagus until it snaps to determine how much to cut off (see pictures above). Also cut the vegetables into strips now.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a baking dish, a large bowl, or a wooden hangiri (if available). Gradually add the vinegar seasoning mixture to the rice while gently folding and mixing with a rice paddle or silicone spatula. Be careful not to mash the rice. Continue folding until the rice is well-coated.
  • Allow the seasoned rice to cool to room temperature. You can also use a fan to make this step faster.

Grill your Asparagus:

  • As you wait for the rice to cool, grill your asparagus. Start by adding the vegetable oil to a frying pan of a grill pan. Then add the asparagus, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Let them char on medium heat until you get those nice brown spots, for about 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Note: If you don't want to grill, you can also bake them in the oven at 425°F (220°C) for 12 minutes.

Time to Roll!

  • First up, add the sesame seeds to the rice and fold the rice again to mix them.
  • Lay one sheet of nori (shiny side down) on the bamboo mat. Then use the rice paddle/spatula to spread the rice evenly over the nori. You want it to cover a little less than half of the sheet (please see picture above), leaving a bit of space at the bottom of the nori.
  • Make sure to also fill in the left and right sides of the nori so that both ends of your sushi will hold up. I just use my other hand to help the rice to stay on top of the nori, preventing it from going off the nori sheet.
  • Arrange avocado slices, cucumber strips, and asparagus stalks horizontally across the center of the rice-covered nori sheet.
    Feel free to let the asparagus stick out on the left and right sides. They will give that restaurant-vibes to your asparagus!
  • Using the bamboo mat, lift the edge closest to you with your thumbs while holding the fillings in place with your fingers. Roll the bamboo mat away from you, tightly wrapping the fillings in the nori and rice. Imagine you're giving your sushi a gentle massage to pack the ingredients in!
  • Once the roll is complete, dampen the top edge of the nori sheet with a bit of water to seal the roll. I just wet my fingers with some water and brush them across.
  • Then use the bamboo mat again to roll the sushi so it seals nicely.

Serve the Sushi

  • Using a sharp, damp knife, slice the sushi roll in the middle into two. Then repeat with each halves until you get 8 pieces per roll. Wipe the knife clean with a damp cloth between cuts to ensure clean slices.
  • Arrange your sliced Asparagus Sushi Rolls on a plate and serve with soy sauce!

Notes

Ingredients Notes
  • Feel free to sub the brown rice + sushi rice with just brown sushi rice. You can also use just regular white sushi rice. I just prefer brown rice since it’s more nutritious.
    • Do NOT sub the rice with just regular brown rice. They won’t stick together.
  • Serve with the good old soy sauce, or this Easy Dynamite Sauce for the most flavor!
Other Notes
  • Tips and substitutions are fully explained in the blog post itself so do have a look! There are also step-by-step pictures above to help you make sushi successfully for the first time!

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Got some asparagus from the market over the weekend and so glad to come across this recipe! Will definitely remake!