How to Make California Rolls
Cook Time: 60 minutes
A California roll is a type of makizushi (sushi roll) that is generally rolled inside-out. Inside-out rolls are also referred to as “Uramaki.” Traditional California rolls contain crab or imitation crab, cucumber and avocado. This tasty dish is a modern take on traditional Japanese rice rolls and can make a very filling meal. The rolls can also be fun to make and serve to guests.
The unique California roll spread from California throughout the U.S. in the 1980s and highly contributed to the rising popularity of sushi in the United States. However, California rolls differ from traditional sushi rolls found throughout Japan. While traditional sushi is simply wrapped in seaweed, California rolls have an outer layer formed with rice and toasted sesame seeds.
Creating California rolls can be a little tricky at first, especially if you have never made sushi before. However, with a little practice and patience, you can create plate-pleasing California rolls that both look and taste amazing.
- 540g sushi rice (cooked and seasoned with Sushi Vinegar)
- 255g cooked crab meat
- 42g Japanese mayonnaise
- A quarter of an English cucumber
- 1 avocado
- A quarter of a lemon
- 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
- 16g toasted white sesame seeds
Vinegar Water for Dipping Hands:
- 60ml water
- 10ml Rice Vinegar
- Tobiko (flying fish roe)
- Ikura (salmon roe)
- Allow sushi rice to become room temperature before starting.
- Cover a bamboo mat with plastic wrap. Dip your fingers into the prepared vinegar water to prevent them from sticking.
- In a bowl, combine the crab meat with the Japanese mayonnaise.
- Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Cut them into strips the same length as the nori sheets.
- Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Cut it into thick slices and squeeze lemon juice over the slices to prevent them from browning.
- Use kitchen shears to cut off a third of a nori sheet and set it aside.
- Lay the remaining two-thirds section of the nori sheet on the bamboo mat with the shiny side down. Wet your fingers in the vinegar water and spread 135 g of the rice onto the sheet evenly. Be careful not to crush the rice. It should remain light and fluffy.
- Sprinkle some sesame seeds onto the rice.
- Flip the nori sheet so that the rice side is now lying against the bamboo mat. Place the crab meat, cucumber, and avocado at the bottom of the nori sheet.
- Pull the nori sheet to the bottom edge of the bamboo mat. While grabbing the bottom edge of the mat, carefully roll forward to create a tight cylinder that tucks the fillings into the centre of the sheet.
- While making the remaining California rolls, cover the completed rolls with a clean, damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
- The remaining one-third of the nori sheet can be used to make Gunkan Maki, otherwise known as battleship sushi. Cut the sheet in half lengthwise and place a small ball of sushi rice on top of each half. Wrap the sushi ball with the nori. Place the ikura Salmon Roe on top.
- Cut the California roll into slices before serving on traditional Japanese tableware.