California Roll Recipe


Learn how to make California Rolls at home with this step-by-step tutorial and California roll recipe!


Today has been filled with random odds and ends, highlighted by homemade California Rolls for dinner!

My older brother and I have had our own competition looming between the two of us for months – an eating competition. He thinks he can down more than me (HA!) so we’ve been trying to agree on what food we should compete with.


Neither of us want to eat something super disgusting like cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets, so inspired by last week’s wraps, I shouted out CALIFORNIA ROLLS when we were discussing it at dinner Friday night!


The competition date is still TBD, but all that talk gave me a craving that last week’s wraps just hadn’t satisfied, so I took some time to whip up a few actual California Rolls today. It wasn’t nearly as messy or hard as I remembered!


First I laid out all the soft and hardware.



Nori, aka sheets of roasted seaweed.


You can find nori in some grocery stores, all Asian food stores, and someone mentioned that Trader Joe’s might have it too.


Sushi rice. Sushi rice is short grain rice that has been cooked then seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and a dash of salt (details here.) You can find it in any grocery store.


Sliced imitation crab and cucumber,


and avocado.



Sushi mat. You can get these at Williams-Sonoma/any specialty kitchen store, or any Asian Grocery store. You don’t need a mat to make homemade sushi, it just makes it a little bit easier.


Cup of water. I use the water to wet my hands to make it easier to spread the sushi rice on the nori. I also use it to seal the end of the roll. You’ll see!


Software: check. Hardware: check. We’re ready to roll!

Step 1: Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the sushi mat, then lay down a sheet of nori. Wet your hands with water and press down 1 cup cooked sushi rice, leaving a 1″ section clear at the top.


Step 2: Place 2 slices each avocado, cucumber and crab on the bottom third portion of the rice.


Step 3: Using the sushi mat, make one full roll, pulling back firmly on the mat to tighten the filling inside.




Step 4: Continue rolling, pulling back firmly on the mat to compress the filling, until you come to the end of the nori.


Step 5: Wet the clear section of nori at the top, then make the final roll and press down to seal.




1 cup un-cooked rice makes 3 cups cooked rice – which yields 3 large rolls.


Step 6: After you have all three rolls made, cut them into 1/2″ slices using a sharp knife.

DSC_0943 DSC_0944

If you’re having trouble cutting, it may help to dip the knife in warm water in between slices.


Step 7: Rejoice over the fact that you’ll never have to pay $6 per California Roll at a restaurant ever again!


These are sooo refreshing!


I could seriously pop piece after piece forever.


Actually, my brother and I decided to shout out at the same time how many pieces of California Roll we thought we could eat in one sitting. Him: 30. Me: 68. BAHAHAHA! This one’s in the bag. ;)



Do you like sushi? What’s your favorite kind?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Melody 08.28.2011

    I am in love with sushi lately, I’ll eat piece after piece of the tofu rolls from our near by sushi restaurant. But this tutorial makes it seem easy, I should see if I can whip some up myself!
    Food eating competition? Give me any type of fruit and it’s in the bag. Most people will eat too much chocolate or cereal at night but I just destroy all the fruit in the house. Yum!

  2. I would totally want to compete with sushi! My family always laughs at me because I finish first and always want more…

  3. Kim 08.28.2011

    I’m not sure what I would compete with, but I can seem to devour copious amounts of popcorn.

  4. I’ve only made sushi and handful of times but it definitely turned out better than expected. I’m also one to down a town of sushi in one sitting – and then regret it later once it expands in my belly :)

  5. Lauren 08.28.2011

    LOVE the idea of a Sushi eating contest. This is one that I could compete in and feel I would put up a good fight. :)

  6. Yumm!!! you are a sushi master, and even though I just downed a cucumber, avocado and brown rice roll, I really want more sushi now.

    My favorite lately is any roll with fresh salmon and avocado and cucumber. With lots of soy sauce and ginger!!

  7. Paige 08.28.2011

    Ha 30? What a wuss! :D j/k

    But seriously, I have another section of my stomach reserved for sushi…I swear. My favorite sushi rolls involve avocado and either salmon or tuna. Don’t make me choose!

  8. Your sushi is so pretty Kristin! I’m pretty much obsessed with sushi, and I really love the spicy/crunchy ones–Rock N Roll is a great one, and so are Dragon rolls!

  9. meghan 08.28.2011

    You just experienced my DREAM food day! BBQ and sushi, gah! I always order one or two really unique creative rolls and then a salmon or tuna and cucumber roll- refreshing!

  10. JennyV 08.28.2011

    You must head back to Conrad and go to “That Place” — an amazing restaurant with some of the best ribs (served on Tuesdays only!) or their chicken kabobs. My aunt who lives on the East Coast HAS to have the Iowa chop when she’s back — while my grandma swears by their walleye. Seriously a great place where there are business cards on the wall from decades ago — mine is in there somewhere!

  11. I love sushi. We have some great sushi places here in Omaha, too. I’ve never attempted to make, but you make it look so easy! I even have sushi plates and platters…I should try!

  12. Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial! I’ve been meaning to make my own rolls for a long time – I can’t wait to get a rolling mat and use your step-by-step guide!

  13. Melissa 08.28.2011

    That looks so delicious! I would love to make my own sushi, but I might not have the patience for it. Then again, I’ve made spring rolls thanks to your tutorials, so maybe I could do this, too! My favorite sushi is a spider roll with soft shell crab. Insanely good!

    • Rachel J 10.19.2011

      It’s insanely easy, and also strangely relaxing! And sushi is so filling, too… well worth the wait.

  14. Kris N 08.28.2011

    Agree with JennyV….we used to go to “That Place” all the time, I went to High School in Marshalltown and we loved the short road trip for good food – that even high schoolers could afford :)

    • Ashley 08.29.2011

      I went to HS in Marshalltown also! Small world! :)

  15. Brenda 08.28.2011

    Favorite sushi – FUTOMAKI!!!

  16. i’ve never had sushi but that looks delicious!

  17. Erin 08.28.2011

    I wish I liked sushi but I just can’t get past the seaweed. Yuck. And I LIVE in Japan!

  18. lindsay 08.28.2011

    Start your contest super hungry and eat fast! Sushi always expands in my stomach, making me feel super full before I feel better again. When I’ve made sushi at home, I can always eat more if I prepare everything ahead of time and then chow down, as opposed to making a roll, eating it, and then making another roll.

    Good luck!

  19. Great tutorial! I love sushi…but my all-time favorites are salmon and white tuna sashimi!

  20. What a fun festival! That’s great that you were asked to be a judge. I’m sure Ben was jealous.

    I love sushi! It’s so fun making it at home, but I love going out for sushi too.

    I’ll be in Iowa starting Wednesday!! I can’t wait. My boyfriend just published his second book on the Hawkeyes, ‘What It Means to Be a Hawkeye’ and he has a book signing at Fry Fest on Friday. I can’t wait for Saturday’s game either. Ahh, I’m so excited to be back in Iowa!!

  21. Lucky! I’d love to judge a BBQ contest…yum!
    Would love to try and make sushi sometime.

  22. Cristy 08.29.2011

    Do I like sushi? HA! I AM sushi! I love sashimi, and prefer to leave the mackerel (ew) on the plate. Otherwise eel is great, but tuna takes the cake. Yum!

  23. Thanks for posting! I had no idea making sushi could be so easy! :)

  24. Hope 08.29.2011

    I love that you made your own sushi! It looks like it’s not as hard as I originally thought! I love california rolls, avocado and cucumber rolls. I also really like coconut shrimp rolls. Yum!

  25. How perfect is this sushi?! I’ve made it a couple times but find it a little labor intensive. You make it look like a synch!

  26. Kelly 08.29.2011

    Seriously! You make it look really easy! I am going to have to try this out…I imagine after mastering the technique, the fillings can be swapped…I am thinking cooked shrimp would be delish!

  27. Iowamom 08.29.2011

    What a fun day judging at that adorable little fair! I’m all over small town festivals like that. There’s some type of “days” in every little town here in northern Iowa during the summer weekends. If you’re ever thinking of coming more north I’ll hook you up with some fun times and good food!

    I love how you just blew by your brother with 68 pieces of sushi. Own it!

    My fave are the California rolls. Can’t go wrong with a good roll!

  28. Betsey 08.29.2011

    I actually just tried my first piece of sushi on Friday. I’m not sure I liked it, but my husband gave me mad props for actually trying it (I’m normally not that daring!). I think I’ll end up sticking to egg rolls :)

  29. Elyse 08.29.2011

    I LOVE sushi, but am not big on seafood so I stick with cucumber avocado rolls, or veggie rolls. Tofu rolls are also killer! Sometimes for a quick lunch I will pick up the premade sushi at Whole Foods where they have a brown rice and avocado one that is amazing. Your rolls look great!

  30. I’m a big fan of sushi and haven’t came across a roll I didn’t like. Love anything with avocado or any simple sashimi.

    Happy to see you show small town Iowa stuff…it’s not a lame as people think :)

  31. Sarah 08.29.2011

    What a fun day, I can’t believe you were a judge…that kind of makes you a celebrity in my book ;)

    • dawn 08.29.2011

      Def. a celebrity, at least in Iowa! ;-) Pretty darn good! Someday we are gonna be buying her books or see her on the Food network, Like Pioneer Woman!

  32. dawn 08.29.2011

    This is great!!! I want to make some soon!
    I love yellow tail sushi, but I also enjoy all sashimi. I love it with Ponzu.

    I don’t like Uni, I won’t eat a sea urchins reproduction system, thank you very much! ;-)

    But yellow tail is my fave!

  33. Lindsey 08.29.2011

    I love sushi. My favorite is always spicy tuna with crab meat and avocado. Delicious. The bbq looks amazing in your post!

  34. Laura 08.29.2011

    This is so crazy to see a post about my tiny hometown and funny to see someone I went to high school and college with on a blog I follow! What a small world. It is true what they say about That Place, it really is great; also the only restaurant near Conrad for MILES!

  35. Allison 08.29.2011

    So cool! You make it look easy but I know there’s no way I could do it! I guess I’ll have to stick with the sushi masters at the restaurants :P

    I love sushi- favorite is shrimp + real crab + cucumber :D

  36. Rachel 08.31.2011

    Definitely going to try this! My step-mom re-gifted a sushi set to me because she thought the likelihood of me enjoying it was much more likely than her ever using it! Haha

    I love anything with salmon or spicy tuna! No cream cheese though– i like to taste the fish!

  37. Christine 09.01.2011

    Thanks for posting the sushi how-to! I just got done eating my very first home-made sushi roll and LOVED it! Also made your chocolate chip cookie dough balls and loved them too :)

  38. Hana 09.04.2011

    Sushi is so great! Have you tried it with a sriracha aioli? It adds an extra kick but is sooooo delicious!

  39. Danielle 09.10.2011

    FYI you can also find the nori at world market!

  40. Amber 12.13.2011

    I am completely in LOVE with sushi. Can’t get enough of it and want to eat it everyday. But I sure can get enough of the bill. I wish I could make all the tasty rolls!

  41. […] redo: Brown Rice Sushi Balls. Instead of fussing with rolling sushi rolls, stick all the fresh ingredients inside a ball of rice. Love […]

  42. […] California Rolls Recipe My older brother and I have had our own competition looming between the two of us for months – an eating competition . He thinks he can down more than me (HA!) so we’ve been trying to agree on what food we should compete with. Jamba Smoothie Recipes Quick Recipes & Easy Recipe Ideas – Tablespoon The Perfect Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe Punchfork — The best new recipes from top food sites The Londoner: Slutty Brownies They're best served warm from the oven, with good quality vanilla ice cream (devastatingly I didn't have any in the freezer this time, so I guess I'll just have to make them again). Preheat oven to 450ºF/232ºC. […]

  43. Gina Gresch 12.31.2012

    Thank you for posting this to pinterest, which is where I found your recipe. If you don’t mind, I’m going to link up to it in my blog post which is going to be published tomorrow. I have a list of things I want to cook/bake in 2013 and california rolls is on it. Your recipe is the easiest one I found online!

  44. […] rolled, and chowed our way through a million California Rolls for dinner. You have GOT to try these!Click here for the tutorial > (It’s from a post back in 2011.)This morning, after a quick trip to the gym followed by […]

  45. Rebecca 01.07.2013

    looks great! if you want sushi but don’t have the energy, try making a sushi rice salad. just as yummy, without any of the rolling!

  46. Sophie 01.16.2013

    I LOVE sushi! I could totally win a sushi eating contest. The most pieces of sushi I’ve ever eaten in one sitting was 56! Thanks so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  47. […] month.  Here’s what I’m going to make:  Butternut Squash Ravioli, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, California Rolls, Mini Tacos, Slow Cooker Triple Chocolate Brownies, Petite Lasagnas and Crockpot Ravioli […]

  48. Katie 06.04.2013

    tried this in high school a bajillion years ago….. Failed….. Tried this recipe and was doing super well after the first pull back firmly and Failed… I got completely lost after that step and have no idea what to do and ended up with complete mush :\ To YouTube I go since I’m desperate for homemade AND affordable sushi!

  49. […] month.  Here’s what I’m going to make:  Butternut Squash Ravioli, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, California Rolls, Italian Chicken, Mini Tacos,Chicken Parmesan Casserole, Pretzel Chicken, Crockpot Ranch […]

  50. Meriden 09.24.2013

    Believe it or not, out high school does sushi on Fridays! They bring in an outside vendor who makes delicious spicy tuna tempura rolls! Tuna, cucumber, and spicy orange sauce(the color not the fruit!) rolled in tempura flakes then topped with more spicy sauce. Our lunch also comes with a soup (miso) and a salad (topped with ginger dressing) overalls it’s really yummy and it’s only 5.00 (one roll is 9 fairly l’s sized pieces)

Leave a Comment