… …

Imitation Crab Sushi Roll Recipe: California Roll

This imitation crab sushi roll recipe is perfect for beginners. Are you looking for a delicious and easy way to make sushi at home? Now you can, you only need a few ingredients, and it’s ready in just minutes!

Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover crabmeat you might have. Give this recipe a try today. You won’t be disappointed!

Make Homemade Sushi

Homemade sushi is a fun, easy, and delicious way to enjoy Japanese food at home. All you need are a few simple ingredients you likely already have on hand and a little bit of time. You’ll be able to create beautiful sushi rolls that are sure to please all the picky eaters in your home.

Best of all, homemade sushi is a great way to save money on your dining budget. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy and delicious homemade sushi can be!

Imitation Crab Sushi Roll Recipe California Roll

California Roll

We will be using the California rolls recipe for this post as it is the easiest roll to learn as a beginner, is a classic sushi roll, and so very tasty. Plus, you don’t have to worry about using any raw fish in this recipe as imitation crab is already cooked. You can also use real crab meat in your recipe to boost the flavor, but since it is more expensive, we have stuck to the imitation version.

The basic process for making tasty California rolls is to prepare sushi rice, set out your sushi mat, set aside a bowl of water, cut up your ingredients, layer in your ingredients, and then roll your sushi.

Finally, you will want to cut either thin or thick slices depending on your preference and serve with your favorite condiment.

We will also give you lots of ideas on what ingredients to add to a sushi roll and ideas on how to host a sushi roll party!

Making Rice in a Rice Cooker

For the first step in the process, get your rice cooking in a rice cooker. You will need to make sticky sushi rice. Try our guide on How to Make Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker for best results. It is best to get the rice going first so you can prepare the other fresh ingredients during the ten or fifteen minutes while the rice is cooking. Also have your rice vinegar and sugar ready to go to season your rice once it is done.

How to cut imitation crab for sushi?

The next step in making a typical California roll is to cut up your ingredients. You want to cut your ingredients in skinny strips to lay in your sushi roll. A pro tip on cutting up imitation crab is to get the imitation crab sticks versus the chunks. The chunks end up as small pieces. The sticks make slicing them up much easier and they end up longer, thin pieces. That is the goal for the rest of your ingredients as well, skinny, long strips.

What is imitation crab made of?

Imitation crab is made from “white fish.” White fish is a name for fish with white flesh such as cod, haddock, and pollock. The cooked fish is formed into sticks or chunks that we find as imitation crab meat and colorant added to make it look like crab.

Best Ingredients for California Sushi Rolls

Traditional California rolls are made with imitation crab, cream cheese, and avocado. Here are some other ideas to add to your rolls if you want more:

  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • scallions
Nori on the outside sushi

Seaweed Wrap for Sushi

If you’re a fan of sushi, then you’re no doubt familiar with nori, the seaweed sheets used to wrap up sushi rolls.

But what exactly is nori, and where does it come from? Nori is a type of red algae that grows in cold, temperate waters. It’s been harvested for centuries in Japan and other parts of Asia and is an important part of the traditional diet in these regions.

Nori is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a good source of protein. Today, nori is most commonly associated with sushi. It’s used as a wrapping for sushi rolls, and as a garnish or condiment.

Nori sheets are usually dry and brittle when purchased but become soft and pliable when moistened.

They have a mild, slightly salty taste that complements the other flavors in sushi.

You will need one nori sheet per sushi roll. They are readily available at most Asian markets and even most grocery stores today. Just make sure to moisten them before using, otherwise they’ll crack and break easily, which is why you should always have a dish of water at the ready when making sushi!

Do I need a bamboo mat to make sushi?

Once you are ready to assemble your roll, you may be wondering if you even need a mat at all. The answer is, you do not necessarily need a bamboo sushi mat to make homemade sushi.

The bamboo mat is necessary to make inside out rolls and to make your rolls very tight and neat. They help you make a more professional roll. However, in the home kitchen they are not as necessary.

adding ingredients on nori

How to make a sushi roll?

Assembling your sushi roll is easy. Once your rice is done and seasoned, make your first roll by laying your sheet of nori on a flat surface or cutting board. Notice that one is a rough side. Keep the rough side in and smoother side out.

Dip your fingers into a small bowl of water so the rice does not stick to them. Layer rice on the nori seaweed about a quarter of an inch thick, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the roll for sealing.

Next, layer in your ingredients on top of the rice. You will want to do this about an inch and a half from the bottom of the roll. In a horizontal line, layer in ingredients such as; crunchy cucumber or carrot, creamy avocado and cream cheese, crab stick pieces, and any other flavors you want inside of your roll.

Next, lift the nori and roll it around your ingredients, giving a slight squeeze to tighten up the roll, then continue rolling until you reach the top inch. Moisten the top of the seaweed lightly and finish rolling your roll. This will seal the roll and prevent it from unraveling.

Lastly, cut your sushi roll with a very sharp knife, moistening the edged of it to help keep it from sticking each time you cut through.

Sushi with Rice on the outside

Post contains affiliate links, and we earn commissions if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, please read the disclosure section under the About Us page.

How do you make sushi rice on the outside?

Place plastic wrap over the bamboo mat.

Spread a generous amount of cooked sushi rice onto the sheet of nori with wet fingertips to keep the rice from sticking to your hands (about 1 cup of rice). Leave about ½ inch of the nori sheet uncovered with rice at the bottom.

Once the rice is evenly over the surface of the seaweed sheet, place rice side down on the bottom end of the plastic covered bamboo mat.

Layer on the ingredients on the bottom of the nori.

Next, use the bamboo mat the roll the bottom edge of the nori over the ingredients making sure to tuck it firmly to enclose the ingredients. Pull the mat back and lay it over the roll again, this time apply even pressure and tighten as you roll.

Cut your sushi roll with a very sharp knife, moistening the edged of it to help keep it from sticking each time you cut through.

sriracha sauce topping

What goes well with sushi?

Soy sauce is probably the most popular condiment for sushi. However, here is a list of other popular condiments such as:

How to make a spicy crab roll?

If you want to do a classic spin on the imitation crab sushi roll recipe, simply add spicy mayo. Spicy mayo is readily available at most grocery stores or you can make it at home too. Spicy mayo is also known as sriracha sauce. It’s simple to make at home by combining mayonnaise and sriracha or cayenne pepper.

How Much Sushi Rice Per Roll?

You are ready to make sushi, but how much sushi rice should you plan for? For each sushi roll plan on using ½ to ¾ of a cup of cooked rice. The exact amount will depend on how thick you layer your rice.

Ingredients for a Sushi Party

How To Throw a Homemade Sushi Party

Throwing a homemade sushi party is the perfect way to enjoy this delicious cuisine with your friends and family. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the cooking process. Here are some tips on how to throw the perfect sushi party.

Plan for approximately 2 sushi rolls per person. If your party is like ours, people will be trying new things and sharing tastes of their sushi rolls with each other. The amount that people will consume also depends on what else you serve. When you have additional premade food for your guests to enjoy, they can just have fun and supplement their meal with their sushi.

Here are some side dishes to serve at your next sushi party.

Homemade Potato Chips Recipe

Easy Roasted Asparagus in Air Fryer Recipe

Imitation Crab Pasta Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Three Bean Salad

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

Restaurant Style Poor Man’s Lobster

Plan Equipment for Sushi Night

For every two people plan the following equipment:

  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Sharp Knife
  • 1 Bamboo Rolling Mat for making the inside out rolls
  • 1 Small Bowl of Water for dipping fingers
  • 1 small Bowl for holding their sushi ingredients before they add it to the nori

Have plenty of these supplies on hand for each person:

  • Soy sauce dishes 1 or 2 per person as they may want more than one kind of dipping sauce.
  • Chopsticks for each person
  • Cheater Chopsticks for the less experienced
  • Paper Towels or Cloth Hand Towels
  • Plastic Wrap to wrap around the rolling mats
  • Plates to hold ingredients and finished rolls

Ingredients to Have on Hand

We precook and season our rice and have it in a large container with a few scoops on hand for everyone to dig out a bowl of rice.

Have vegetables prepared, sliced, and in separate containers for your guests.

  • Carrots shredded or cut into matchsticks  
  • Fresh snow peas sliced thin
  • Cucumber cut into matchsticks
  • Avocado sliced thin
  • Mushrooms sauteed or marinated in teriyaki sauce)
  • Zucchini sliced thin
  • Scallions sliced lengthwise thin or on the bias
  • Celery sliced thin on the bias
slices of sushi

Fish and Other Sushi Ingredients to prepare ahead of time for your guests.

  • Sesame Seeds
  • String Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cooked Shrimp
  • Cooked Crab Meat
  • Fresh Raw Tuna or Pan Seared and sliced thin
  • Octopus boiled and sliced thin
  • Salmon raw or smoked sliced thin

Condiments:

Imitation Crab Sushi Roll Recipe California Roll
Pin Recipe
Print Recipe
Save Recipe

Imitation Crab Sushi Roll Recipe: California Roll

This imitation crab sushi roll recipe is perfect for beginners. Are you looking for a delicious and easy way to make sushi at home? Now you can, you only need a few ingredients, and it’s ready in just minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: 30 minute meal, Asian Recipe, easy recipe
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 297kcal

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients

Sushi Rice Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Sushi Rice short grain rice
  • 2 Cups Water

Sushi Rice Seasoning

  • 4 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt

Sushi Roll Ingredients

  • 4 Sheets Nori Sushi Seaweed Sheet
  • 4 Cups Prepared Sushi Rice see recipe above
  • 1/2 Pound Imitation Crab sliced into strips
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese sliced into strips
  • 1 Small Cucumber cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Avocado Sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Seed Optional
  • Soy Sauce for serving

Instructions

  • Prep all your ingredients. Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin to assemble your rolls.

Prepare Sushi Rice

  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. A strainer works well for this. Just add the rice to the strainer and rinse under running water.
  • Transfer the rice to the rice cooker and add the water. Cover with the lid and follow your rice cooker’s instructions for cooking rice. It might say white rice or basic rice. Choose that setting and press start.
  • Add the granulated sugar, rice vinegar and pinch of kosher salt to the rice. Gently stir the rice to combine making sure not to mash the rice.

How to Make Sushi with the Nori on the Outside

  • Prepare Nori Sheet
  • Once your rice is done and seasoned, make your first roll by laying your sheet of nori on a flat surface or cutting board. Notice that one is a rough side. Keep the rough side in and smoother side out.
  • Dip your fingers into a small bowl of water so the rice does not stick to them. Layer rice on the nori seaweed about a quarter of an inch thick, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the roll for sealing.
  • Layer the Ingredients
  • Next, layer in your ingredients on top of the rice. You will want to do this about an inch and a half from the bottom of the roll. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. In a horizontal line, layer in ingredients such as; crunchy cucumber or carrot, creamy avocado and cream cheese, crab stick pieces, and any other flavors you want inside of your roll.
  • Rolling Sushi
  • Next, lift the nori and roll it around your ingredients, giving a slight squeeze to tighten up the roll, then continue rolling until you reach the top inch. Moisten the top of the seaweed lightly and finish rolling your roll. This will seal the roll and prevent it from unraveling.

How to Make Sushi with the Rice on the Outside

  • Place plastic wrap over the bamboo mat.
  • Spread a generous amount of cooked sushi rice onto the sheet of nori with wet fingertips to keep the rice from sticking to your hands (about 1 cup of rice). Leave about ½ inch of the nori sheet uncovered with rice at the bottom.
  • Once the rice is evenly over the surface of the seaweed sheet, place rice side down on the bottom end of the plastic covered bamboo mat.
  • Next, layer in your ingredients on top of the rice. You will want to do this about an inch and a half from the bottom of the roll. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. In a horizontal line, layer in ingredients such as; crunchy cucumber or carrot, creamy avocado and cream cheese, crab stick pieces, and any other flavors you want inside of your roll.
  • Next, use the bamboo mat the roll the bottom edge of the nori over the ingredients making sure to tuck it firmly to enclose the ingredients. Pull the mat back and lay it over the roll again, this time apply even pressure and tighten as you roll.

Serving Sushi

  • Lastly, cut your sushi roll with a very sharp knife, moistening the edged of it to help keep it from sticking each time you cut through. Serve with your favorite dips and sauces.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

What goes well with sushi?

Soy sauce is probably the most popular condiment for sushi. However, here is a list of other popular condiments such as:
  • wasabi
  • ginger
  • spicy mayo
  • sweet soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • Yum yum sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Make Ahead Side Dish Recipes Sheet Pan Side Dish Recipe Easy Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipe Irresistible Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes Homemade Healthy Dog Treats Recipes