California Roll

California Roll
Staff Writer
California Roll

Namiko Chen

California Roll

Ever wondered how to make this classic staple of sushi bars everywhere in America? Look no further. Now you can make this classic at home, too. To make life easier, you'll need a bamboo mat (like the kind used to serve cold soba noodles at Japanese restaurants), some plastic wrap, and a very sharp knife.

See all appetizer recipes.

Ingredients

  • Two 0.6-ounce cans crabmeat, drained
  • 1/2  Cup  Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/2  English cucumber
  • nori sheets
  • avocados
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4  Cup  water
  • 2  Teaspoons  distilled white vinegar
  • 9  Cups  cooked sushi rice
  • 1/4  Cup  white sesame seeds
  • Wasabi, for serving
  • Pickled sushi ginger, for serving
  • Ikura (salmon roe), for garnish (optional)
  • Tobiko (flying fish roe), for garnish (optional)

Directions

Combine the crab with the mayonnaise in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

Place the cucumber next to 1 nori sheet and cut off the edge of cucumber so the length of cucumber is same as the width of nori sheet. Peel the cucumbers, leaving some skin in a striped pattern. Then, cut into long thin strips. Set aside.

Peel, pit, and cut the avocados into ¼-inch-thick slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocados to prevent them from turning brown.

Take each nori sheet and cut off 1/3 — we will only use 2/3 sheet of nori. Reserve any leftovers in a zip-lock bag so they won’t become stale. Wrap the bamboo mat with a large piece of plastic wrap and mix the water and vinegar in a small bowl.

Lay 1 piece of nori on top of the bamboo mat, shiny side down. Put about 1 cup of the sushi rice on top, just enough to thinly cover the nori sheet — it’s OK to have some small gaps. Dip your fingers in the water-vinegar mixture and distribute the rice toward the bottom of the nori sheet.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the rice. Flip the nori sheet rice side down and place it at the bottom end of the bamboo mat. Lay down a strip of cucumber, spread the crabmeat, and lay the avocado slices on top.

Use the bamboo mat to roll the bottom edge of the nori sheet over the filling. Tuck in the filling firmly. Lift the edge of the bamboo sheet and roll it forward while keeping gentle pressure on the bamboo sheet.

Take the roll out of the bamboo mat, and with a very sharp knife, cut each roll in half and then cut each half into 3 pieces. Keep wiping the knife with a damp towel after a few slices. (If there is too much rice stuck to the knife, then resulting slices won’t look nice.) Serve with wasabi and picked sushi ginger. Garnish with ikura and tobiko, if using. 

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
6g
9%
Sugar
1g
1%
Cholesterol
1mg
0%
Carbohydrate, by difference
85g
65%
Protein
10g
22%
Vitamin A, RAE
7µg
1%
Calcium, Ca
101mg
10%
Choline, total
3mg
1%
Fiber, total dietary
5g
20%
Folate, total
8µg
2%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
125mg
39%
Manganese, Mn
4mg
100%
Phosphorus, P
306mg
44%
Selenium, Se
2µg
4%
Sodium, Na
104mg
7%
Water
120g
4%
Zinc, Zn
3mg
38%

California Roll Shopping Tip

Rice is a staple of Asian cooking – for a more nutritious rice dish, reach for brown rice at your grocery store, it has a high protein and fiber content.

California Roll Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chili peppers as well as sugar and garlic.