Vegetarian FSP Roll

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The Vegetarian FSP Roll recipe is from Cape Cod restaurant owner and sushi chef Andrew Semler, who was actually trained in vegan cuisine. FSP stands for “fried sweet potato.” Finely julienned, golden crispy sweet potato is rolled with traditional sweet simmered shiitake mushrooms and blanched and grilled asparagus. If you want to enjoy even more crispiness from the sweet potato, make the roll medium-thick, using twice the amount of crisp sweet potato in each roll.

Makes7 rolls


Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCocktail Party, Cooking for a date

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturechewy, crisp, salty, savory, sharp, sweet, umami


  • ½ medium sweet potato (¼ pound), peeled and cut into matchstick-thin strips, 1½ inches long
  • Sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 14 thin asparagus (2 ounces), blanched, with the tough bottoms removed
  • 6 simmered shiitake mushrooms (3 ounces), sliced thin
  • ½ cup toasted white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons wasabi paste (optional)
  • 6 cups (lightly packed) prepared sushi rice (7/8 cup, 4.2 ounces, per roll)
  • 7 half-sheets nori (laver); choose the thicker variety
  • Tsuke-joyu (sushi dipping sauce)


  1. Soak the julienned potatoes in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to remove excess starch (this makes the fried potatoes crisper). Drain the potatoes, spread them out on a paper towel, and dry them well. Before frying, sprinkle pinches of salt and sugar over the potatoes and toss by hand.

  2. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet to 320° F. Add one-third to half the sweet potatoes (according to the size of your skillet) and cook over low heat until they are crisp and begin to acquire a light golden color, about 10 minutes. During cooking, maintain the temperature of the oil at about 260° F (slow frying removes moisture gradually and completely without browning). Remove the fried strips from the oil all at once using a large fine-mesh skimmer and transfer them to a paper towel laid on top of newspaper. While they are hot, separate the sticks with chopsticks or with your fingers. Sprinkle an additional pinch of salt over the strips and toss. Fry the remaining batch or two.

  3. Heat the grill or other heat source and cook the asparagus until the outside begins to blister, 30 seconds or so.

  4. Line up all the filling ingredients— fried sweet potato, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, white sesame seeds, and wasabi paste (optional)—on a tray, then follow the Master Recipe.


  6. You can fry the sweet potatoes half a day in advance, but prepare the rolls just before serving to ensure the most crispy sweet potatoes.

  7. If you wish, smear a small quantity of wasabi on the nori before adding the potatoes.

  8. Serve with the sushi dipping sauce.


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