Wash asparagus. If you like, use a vegetable peeler to scrape off the scales from the asparagus about halfway down on spears. Take one spear and starting at the base and working toward the tip, bend the spear several times until you find a place where it breaks easily; snap off and discard woody bases. Cut asparagus tips and only the tender spear ends into 1-inch lengths. Measure 2 cups; set aside. (Use the remaining (less-tender) spears in soup or sauces.)
In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, combine 6 cups water and the salt. Bring to boiling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 8 cups cold water with some ice cubes.
To blanch, carefully add asparagus pieces to boiling water; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just crisp-tender. Cool quickly by plunging asparagus into ice water for 1 minute; drain well on several layers of paper towels. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, use a wire whisk to combine eggs, milk and the 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Fold in flour, 1/4 cup at time, stirring each time to distribute ingredients. (Batter should be thick enough to scoop with a spoon and hold its shape.) Stir asparagus into batter.
In large saucepan or deep-fat fryer, heat 3 to 4 inches oil over medium-high heat to 325°. Use a rounded measuring tablespoon of batter or a small ice cream scoop to carefully drop asparagus mixture into hot oil. (Be cautious of splattering oil.)
Fry, a few fritters at a time, for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden, turning several times with a metal slotted spoon. Maintain oil temperature around 325°. If browning too quickly, lower the heat to medium. Remove fritters from the hot oil using the slotted spoon. Drain on wire racks set over paper towels.
Serve immediately with Lemon Garlic Aioli or honey.
As a substitute for the self-rising flour, use 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda.
In a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise and milk. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice and garlic.