California roll recipe - diy simple sushi recipes to make at home

California sushi roll is a very common and popular type of sushi, or more specifically, maki sushi. It’s also known as “Western” or “American-style” sushi recipe. This means that it is not made with traditional Japanese ingredients, such as rice flavored with sweetened vinegar and fish seasoned with wasabi and soy sauce. This California roll recipe can be made at home with relatively easy to find ingredients.

A California roll is a type of sushi, which is typically made with cucumber and avocado. The outside layer (the rice) is also flavored with sesame seeds, while the inside ingredients are usually imitation crab meat and mayonnaise.

The reason why this particular kind of sushi became so popular in North America was because it did not have “raw” seafood, so it was considered safer to eat for Westerners that are not used to raw fish. The California roll is the gateway drug for many sushi lovers.

In sushi restaurants up until now, the California roll is probably the most popular sushi because of its texture and taste. It has a crab meat mixture that makes it sweet, yet crunchy due to the sesame seeds on the outside.

Want to make sushi at home? Follow along this California roll recipe and enjoy this tasty and 100% sustainable (as in “no fish were harmed”) sushi recipe.

California roll recipe for sushi lovers
Love sushi? Make California rolls at home with this simple sushi recipe. Source: Marco Verch on Flickr

How to make California rolls at home

Our California roll recipe is simple — but there’s no one right way to make them. Lots of sushi chefs add their own touch, while keeping the basics. So let’s dive in to the ingredients you’ll need to make California rolls at home.

California roll recipe ingredients

  • 2 cups of sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1 package of imitation crab meat
  • 1/2 a cucumber (cut into a long thin strips – length should be the same as sushi mat. You can use a vegetable peeler to get a perfect-looking result.)
  • 3 avocados
  • 8 nori sheets (dried seaweed)
  • sesame seeds for the top of the roll, if desired

This California roll recipe is made with imitation crab meat, cucumbers, and avocado. The ingredients can be arranged in any order you like on top of a sheet of nori seaweed that has been prepared with sushi rice.

Once you have your nori, sushi mat, and ingredients, you are ready to begin making your California roll! As stated before, there is no definitive recipe for this type of sushi since people use different fillings and toppings in their rolls.

Directions for this California roll recipe

The directions for this recipe are as follows:

  • Soak the sushi rice in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the rice, and bring it to a boil with 2 1/2 cups of water. Once it boils, cover it, reduce to heat and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes to steam.
  • After 10 minutes, mix in 1 tbsp of white vinegar, then spread the rice onto a plate to cool.

Pro tip: Do yourself a favor and get a basic sushi rolling mat (much like a painter’s easel) – this makes rolling the sushi so much easier.

  • Cut your cucumber and avocado into long thin strips.
  • Place a nori sheet shiny side down on the rolling mat, then spread a thin layer of rice onto it (no thicker then 1/4 inch). Leave 1/2 an inch at the end without any rice. Try to spread the rice as evenly as possible.
  • Place the cucumber and avocado slices in a line right in the center of your rice layer.

Note: This is not how you end up eating the sushi (with the nori on the outside), but this helps to make rolling easier because you can roll it more tightly, and nothing will fall out.

  • Using the rolling mat, begin to tightly roll your sushi.
  • Once you have a tight roll, wet your fingers with water to help prevent rice from sticking to them. Then take hold of the edge without any rice and gently pull it up away from the rest of your sushi. You may need to use your other hand also to press the top of your sushi roll together to make it hold together better.
  • Fill a bowl with water, then dip your knife into the water before slicing each piece. This makes it easier for the knife to cut through the sushi without having bits stick to it.
  • Cut into 6-8 pieces. Serve with soy sauce if desired.

Hint: It is best to serve this dish right away because if it sits too long, the rice can become hard.

California roll sushi recipe
Enjoy guilt-free and sustainable sushi California rolls at home. Photo by Kasumi Loffler from Pexels

How does a California roll taste?

You’ll have a variety of textures and tastes to enjoy — it’s crunchy, soft, savory, and more. You really have to try it for yourself. A California roll is a type of sushi, which is typically made with cucumber and avocado. The outside layer (the rice) is also flavored with sesame seeds, while the inside ingredients are usually imitation crab meat and mayonnaise.

The reason why this particular kind of sushi became so popular in North America was because it did not have “raw” seafood, so it was safer to eat. One of the side effects of eating raw fish is often a parasitic infection from a certain type of roundworm. This particular kind of worm is only found in fish from the Pacific coast of Asia, and not from North America.

In sushi restaurants up until now, the California roll is probably the most popular sushi because of its texture and taste. It has a crab meat mixture that makes it sweet, yet crunchy due to the sesame seeds on the outside.

How to eat California roll sushi

This type of sushi is typically eaten with soy sauce and wasabi.

However, if you like something sweet with it, try eating it dipped in honey (this is not traditional, but people do like this). You can also put mayonnaise on it if you want, but again this is not traditional.

In at-home sushi settings, people usually make their own California rolls by hand. If you are making your own roll, lay the nori (seaweed) on top of the rice and put ingredients like cucumber or avocado in the middle for between the nori and the rice. Then roll up the sushi tightly using your fingers or a rolling mat.

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