For a crisp finger food that is a little bit different, these asparagus nikumaki are a champion among champions. Nikumaki literally means ‘meat roll’, and these tasty appetisers live up to that name, consisting of shio koji marinated fresh asparagus stalks wrapped in cheese and ham or chicken slices before being encased in a panko-crumbed spring roll wrapper and deep fried. An easy-to-make recipe, this is one dish that you will want to whip up again and again.
6 spears asparagus 60g cheese, melty 6 slices of chicken or pork sandwich meat 2 tbsp shio koji rice seasoning
for frying: 6 harumaki spring roll wrappers flour, for dusting 2 eggs panko bread crumbs vegetable oil, for frying
Wash the asparagus and drain well. Cut the bottoms off and rub the shio koji around the asparagus. Leave them in a fridge for about 10 minutes.
Wrap the asparagus and cheese with a slice of sandwich meat. Then wrap the meat rolls with the spring roll wrappers.
Fill three separate trays with flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. Then dip the rolls in the flour to coat, then egg, and finally coat with panko until fully coated.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Test the oil by dropping a little flour in the pan. If it sizzles then the oil is ready. Fry the rolls carefully for 2-4 minutes turning occasionally until the panko turns golden brown.
Cut the rolls into bite size pieces and serve warm.
- Feel free to use meat free sandwich slices for a vegetarian option. Quorn slices are available in most larger retailers.