A California Roll is one of the most popular sushi rolls ordered at a Japanese restaurant in the United States. You can make one at home with a few key ingredients and a little bit of time.

California Roll Sushi Recipe

A California Roll is one of the most popular sushi rolls ordered at a Japanese restaurant in the United States. You can make one at home with a few key ingredients and a little bit of time.

Jump to Recipe

The first step to making homemade sushi is getting the correct ingredients. We can’t find the nori seaweed at the small Walmart by our house, but we know we can get it at HEB so we go there for our sushi ingredients. They also tend to have better fresh ingredients, especially if we make multiple sushi rolls and need raw fish.

Make sure you purchase a crunchy cucumber for this. You don’t want it to be soft at all. We find an English cucumber works best. They have thin skin so are easy to slice. Most of the time there are individually wrapped in a piece of plastic wrap at the store. You will likely have to shorten the slices, though, as they are a bit longer than the raw seaweed.

When looking for an avocado, make sure it will be ripe when you are ready to use it. If you have overripe avocados, they tend to be too soft and don’t slice easily. You can sprinkle the avocado with a bit of lemon juice to keep it from browning too quickly.

If you prefer a Spicy California Roll, you can easily add a bit of spicy mayonnaise or Japanese mayonnaise to the outside of the roll once it’s been assembled. Or, if you prefer it on the inside, you can add it before rolling it up.

What Kind of Seafood Works Best?

The type of crab you purchase will change the taste in this a bit. I prefer to get the imitation crab stick but you can also use lump crab meat or real crab meat. The real crab meat is a much stronger taste and will overpower some of the other flavors in your sushi roll. The imitation crab meat sticks are great because they are already the shape you need, they just need to be sliced a bit thinner to easily fit in your sushi roll.

Sushi Rice

For step-by-step instructions for cooking sushi rice in the instant pot or rice cooker, view THIS POST. You’ll need sushi rice, rice vinegar, sugar, water, and salt. The rice cooks while you make a vinegar mixture to add to it at the end.

Tip: You’ll need a few things at your work surface when handling seaweed and sushi rice. Have a small bowl of cold water to dip your fingers in before touching the rice. Then keep a small hand towel close to dry your hands when handling the seaweed or other main ingredients.

California Roll Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 1 piece seaweed (or nori sheet)
  • 1/2 cup sushi rice (prepared)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 2 oz imitation crab meat (or real crab meat)
  • 1 tbsp spicy mayonnaise (optional)

Preparation

Lay a seaweed sheet on a sushi mat or bamboo rolling mat with the shiny side up.

Use a rice paddle to spread the prepared sushi rice in an even layer on top of the nori sheet until close to the edges.

Lay the sliced cucumber in a single layer in a straight line at one edge of the nori wraps.

Add the avocado slices and crab on top of the cucumber.

Carefully use the bamboo mat to roll the sushi.

If you want a Spicy California Roll, drizzle the exterior of the roll with spicy mayo.

Use a very sharp knife to cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Serve immediately with a side of soy sauce, wasabi, or Japanese mayonnaise.

California Roll Sushi Leftovers

Storage: Store leftover sushi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Recipe

Originally Published On: April 10, 2023

Sliced California sushi rolls on a white serving tray with chopsticks next to a white bowl of soy sauce on a white and green towel on a white surface

California Roll Sushi

A California Roll is one of the most popular sushi rolls ordered at a Japanese restaurant in the United States. You can make one at home with a few key ingredients and a little bit of time.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course:
Appetizer
|
Main Dish
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
avocado
|
california roll
|
crab
|
homemade sushi
|
imitation crab
|
sushi
|
sushi roll
Dietary Needs:
Dairy-Free
|
Egg-Free
|
Nut-Free
Meat:
Seafood
Servings: 12 pieces
5 from 7 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 piece seaweed (or nori sheet)
  • 1/2 cup sushi rice (prepared)
  • 1 cucumber (sliced thin)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 2 oz imitation crab meat (or real crab meat)
  • 1 tbsp spicy mayonnaise (optional)

Recommended Equipment

  • Bamboo Mat

Instructions

  • Lay a seaweed sheet on a sushi mat or bamboo rolling mat with the shiny side up
  • Use a rice paddle to spread the prepared sushi rice in an even layer on top of the nori sheet until close to the edges
  • Lay the sliced cucumber in a single layer in a straight line at one edge of the nori wraps
  • Add the avocado slices and crab on top of the cucumber
  • Carefully use the bamboo mat to roll the sushi
  • If you want a Spicy California Roll, drizzle the exterior of the roll with spicy mayo
  • Use a very sharp knife to cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick
  • Serve immediately with a side of soy sauce, wasabi, or Japanese mayonnaise
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Nutrition Facts
California Roll Sushi
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 0.003g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 37mg2%
Potassium 122mg3%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 43IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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11 thoughts on “California Roll Sushi Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Such a coincidence. I made rice today, but because I had let it soak, it came out really sticky. And I said I’m gonna have to make sushi with this rice. This recipe looks delicious and came right in time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such an interesting dish. We don’t have something even similar in our traditional cuisine, but I definitely wouldn’t mind trying this sometime.

  3. 5 stars
    The California roll; is my favorite! I’m not a brave sushi goer, but I sure do love my California rolls.

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, this California Roll Sushi Recipe is simply amazing! The step-by-step instructions and pictures made it so easy to follow. Can’t wait to try it out for myself and impress my friends!

  5. When my husband and i were first dating we took a class and made sushi! I feel like it would be such a fun at home date night to try this recipe!

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