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homemade California sushi rolls cut and stack up
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California Rolls

Simple and tasty California rolls are very popular sushi rolls among American Japanese restaurants. This homemade California sushi roll recipe has step by step photos and a video to show how to make easy California rolls. Sushi rolls are the best to serve with miso soup and it is great for lunch or dinner.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 538kcal
Author Tracy O.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Japanese rice
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 large Avocados
  • 5-6 sheets Nori/ seaweed sheets

Rice Vinegar Seasoning: (Only use ⅓ cup)

  • ½ cup Vinegar
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Crab Salad:

  • 11 long one Imitation crab sticks (Around 14oz)
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise

Optional

  • 1 tablespoon Roasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Put 2 cups of Japanese rice into a bowl and add some water, wash and rub the rice until the water turns milky. Then, drain the water and repeat washing the rice 2-3 times.
  • After that, drain the rice well. (You can use a strainer.)
  • Next, put the washed and drained rice into the instant pot pressure cooker.
  • Pour 2 cups of water into the instant pot and level the rice. Make sure the rice is covered by water. Close the lid and vent. Push the manual button, adjust time to 6 minutes at high pressure and naturally release pressure.
  • In the meanwhile, put ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt into a pot.
  • Turn on a small fire and keep stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Let it cool off. In this recipe, only use ⅓ cup of the sushi rice vinegar. Pour the rest of them into a glass jar and refrigerate for next time. (The sushi rice vinegar can store up to 6 months in the refrigerator.)
  • When the rice is done, scoop it out and put into a mixing bowl.
  • Slowly add ⅓ cup of sushi rice vinegar from step 6 into the hot cooked rice and mix it well. Then, let it cool down before wrapping.
  • Wrap the bamboo sushi mat with a plastic wrap. This can keep the bamboo mat clean and easier to clean.
  • Cut 11 long imitation crab sticks into shorter pieces. (It is around 14oz.)
  • After, put the cut imitation crab sticks into a chopper. Chop until it's small pieces.
  • The following step, put the chopped crab sticks into a bowl and add ½ cup of mayonnaise. Mix it well.
  • Peel and slice 2 large ripe avocados.
  • A regular seaweed sheet is 8 inches x 7.5 inches. Personally, I prefer to cut out 1.5-2 inches (height) of the nori because when you wrap the sushi rolls, it will look better. Therefore, the size of the nori sheet is around 8 inches x 6 inches. However, you don't have to cut the seaweed sheets. This is optional.
  • Take a scoop of the seasoned rice from step 8 and spread on the nori. (Wet your hands a little bit before getting the sushi rice on the nori because it helps the rice not to stick on the hands when you spread the rice on the seaweed.)
  • Flip the nori with rice. Now, the rice facing the bamboo mat and nori on the top.
  • Scoop 3 big tablespoons of crab salad from step 12. And, put some sliced avocado.
  • Roll up the nori with the bamboo mat. Slightly press it and shape the roll. (Remember don't press too hard because the filling will come out the ends.) See the video below the recipe card for details.
  • Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds (black or white) or roe. This is optional as well. Then, cut the rolls into pieces. (Use a wet paper towel to wipe the knife each time you cut the sushi rolls. This can help you cut the sushi better.)

Video

Notes

Cooking tips for how to make homemade California sushi rolls:

Sushi rice:

  • It is best to use Japanese rice for making sushi rice. 
  • I like to use an instant pot to cook rice because it is faster and the taste is better. 
  • Wash and drain the rice, put the washed rice into the instant pot and add water. Level off the rice and make sure the rice is covered by water. Close the lid and vent, push the manual button, adjust time for 6 minutes at high pressure and natural release pressure.
  • Also, I like to make my own sushi rice vinegar. Put sugar, salt and vinegar in the pot and turn on a small fire and keep stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Let it cool down. I used ⅓ cup or add sushi rice vinegar to your taste and store the rest in a glass jar for next time. 
  • If you use store bought sushi rice vinegar, please add to your taste because different brands are slightly different. 
  • Add the sushi rice vinegar to the hot cooked rice a little bit at a time and mix with the rice. Then, let the sushi rice cool down before wrapping. 

Filling:

  • I like to make crab salad by cutting the imitation crab sticks into shorter lengths. Then, put them in the chopper and chop it into small pieces. Put the chopped crab sticks into a bowl, add mayonnaise and mix it well.
  • Peel and cut avocado into slices. 

Wrapping:

  • A regular seaweed sheet is 8 inches x 7.5 inches. Personally, I prefer to cut out 1.5-2 inches (height) of the nori because when you wrap the sushi rolls, it will look better. Therefore, the size of the nori sheet is around 8 inches x 6 inches. (However, you don't have to cut the nori/seaweed sheets, it is optional.)
  • Besides, I like to use a plastic wrap to wrap the bamboo sushi mat, so the mat won't get messy, dirty and it is easier to clean.
  • Wet your hands a little bit before getting the sushi rice on the nori, then spread the rice. It is because the rice won't stick on the hands when you try to spread the rice on the seaweed.
  • Try to put the filling in the middle of the seaweed. Roll up the nori with the bamboo mat, then slightly press it and shape the roll. (Remember don't press too hard because the filling will come out the ends.)

Cutting:

  • Use a wet paper towel to wipe the knife each time you cut the sushi rolls. This can help you cut the sushi better.

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg