Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft, about 8 min. Add the rice and stir. Add two ladles of broth and stir until the rice has absorbed most of it before adding another two ladles. Continue to add broth.
After about 15 min, add the asparagus and mix it through the rice.
Cook until the broth is used up and rice is tender and thickened – about 20 min in total. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a little bit of hot water at the end if it feels too thick.
Once the rice is fully cooked, add the cream cheese to the rice and flake in the smoked salmon, then stir through lemon zest, juice and most of the chives. Season to taste. Sprinkle some more chives over the rice and serve immediately.