California Rolls with Sushi Rice

These California Rolls with Sushi Rice taste just like the rolls you get at a Japanese Restaurant. Now you can make California Rolls on a whim!

They’re perfect for lunch or a light dinner, yet they also make an outstanding appetizer!  I serve them with Tamari, which is a premium soy sauce. It is less salty than soy sauce, more mellow, and thicker.  As a second side, I use Terrapin Ridge’s Wasabi Sauce.  I’m in love with their line of sauces, which are a staple in my pantry.

California rolls cut into eight rounds on a rectangular white serving platter.
California rolls cut into eight rounds on a rectangular white serving platter.

California Rolls with Sushi Rice

Foodie de Froid
Servings 8 rolls
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
These California Rolls with Sushi Rice taste just like the rolls you get at a Japanese Restaurant. Now you can make California Rolls on a whim!
5 from 1 vote


Sushi Rice

  • 3 cups Sushi rice
  • 3 cups cold water or as directed in your rice cooker

Finish for Sushi Rice

California Roll

  • 1/2 lb Imitation crab meat p.s. the “log” shaped crab meat is the easiest to work with
  • 1 avocado ripe but still firm
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and cut into thin julienne strips
  • Nori seaweed wrap
  • Black sesame seeds

For Dipping


Sushi Rice

  • Rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well. Cook on the sushi rice setting.
    3 cups Sushi rice, 3 cups cold water
  • Transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and break it up with a paddle or wooden spoon slowly and consistently to remove clumps as it cools. Once it has cooled and steam has escaped, stir in the vinegar (and salt if desired).
    4 Tbsp Rice vinegar, ½ tsp Fine sea salt

California Roll Assembly

  • Wrap your sushi matt in plastic wrap.
  • Fold the pieces of nori in half to split them.
  • Toast your sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly until fragrant.
    Black sesame seeds
  • Slice the avocado and cucumber into thin strips. Use three avocado slices, two cucumber strips, and crab sticks to cover the width of the roll.
    1 avocado, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 lb Imitation crab meat
  • Place a half sheet of nori rough side up (smooth side down) on the plastic-covered mat. Spread a generous handful of sushi rice onto the nori. Use wet fingertips to prevent sticking. and spread the rice evenly over the entire surface of the nori.
  • Gently flip the rice-covered piece of nori over, so the rice is facing down, and your rice will be on the outside of the roll. Place your fillings across the center of your rice in the middle of the sheet. The avocado will be closest to you, the imitation crab is set in the center, and the cucumber is on the backside of that.
  • Start rolling away from you, using your mat to firmly keep the roll in place. Apply some pressure to make a tight roll. If its not tight enough, it will be difficult to cut. As you start to finish the roll, pull with your fingertips under the roll to tighten it.
  • Once the roll is complete, sprinkle the roll with the black sesame seeds while it is still on the mat so you can turn while evenly sprinkling on all sides of the roll. Repeat with the remaining nori and ingredients to make 8 rolls.
  • To slice the rolls into sushi pieces, take a sharp knife and slice back and forth quickly to cut through the roll. Do not push down, or you will squish it. To get even sizes, slice each roll in half, then continue to slice in half until you have eight pieces. If you have time, refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up the roll. It makes for easier cutting.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature with soy sauce and wasabi as sides.
    1 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp wasabi sauce

Kitchen Equipment


Each roll makes eight pieces for a total of 64 pieces.
How to place ingredients and roll:  I learned how to roll these California Rolls by watching this video a few times.  I highly recommend it.
Sushi Mat:  Wrap your sushi mat in plastic wrap before using it.  Doing this extends the life of the mat and makes clean-up a breeze.
Spreading Sushi Rice:  Keep a bowl of cold water next to your mat and continue to dip your fingertips in it to prevent the sticky rice from sticking to your fingers as you spread it onto the mat.
Don't overfill with ingredients of your roll won't wrap properly.
Course Appetizer, lunch, Salad
Cuisine American, Japanese
Calories 246


Serving: 8rollsCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 440mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 51IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Keyword california, sushi
Have you made this recipe? We'd love to hear how it was!

De Froid Tip: Pipettes

Pipettes are a creative way to add a burst of flavor to your appetizers and desserts.  They are the perfect way to add Tamari to California rolls.  Pop one into your dish and let your guests have an interactive experience while tasting a layer of flavors.   

These little vessels are inexpensive yet add interaction and excitement to parties.  They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.  Measure your serving dish to find the right one for you.

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