How to make California rolls

How to make California rolls
(4.3 / 5)

Word from the author:

"This is the most popular sushi roll outside of Japan, and for very good reasons. If you can't have raw fish, or simply don't like this is the roll for you! It is super easy to make and tastes delicious. Enjoy my recipe!"

California roll recipe

Before attempting your first California roll, you should be able to make a basic inside out roll. Check out our “How inside out rolls” if you’re not sure how to do so. The California sushi roll is perfect for those who don’t care much for raw fish. The main ingredient is imitation crab sticks (made of cooked Surimi fish meat), and so this sushi roll is easier to make and is safe for pregnant women to enjoy.


Yield: 12 sushi rolls.

Variations may include:

How to make a California roll


Wrap your bamboo mat with plastic wrap. This is necessary in order to prevent rice from sticking to the mat and to allow easy clean up between rolls.



Take a nori sheet, and break it in half. If it doesn’t break easily, you can toast it for a few seconds or use scissors to cut it. Place one half on the mat, with the shiny side facing down. In this example I actually used the entire nori sheet to get a larger roll, although it’s more common to use half.


Grab a handful of prepared sushi rice, and spread it gently over the nori – about 1 cm high. There’s no need to press the rice down onto the nori, only spread it to cover the sheet. Cover the entire sheet if you are using half a nori, and the about 80% of it if you are using a full nori.

Anything on top?

Sprinkle a spoonful of Masago or sesame seeds evenly over the top half of rice if you are using a full nori, or on all of it if you are using half a nori sheet.

The old Fliparoo

Flip the nori so that the rice is now facing down on the bamboo mat. Next we are going to place the ingredients on top of the nori (and not the rice).

First the crab sticks

Line up the crab sticks along the close end of the nori. The ones I have in the picture below are perfectly shaped for sushi. You might have to cut yours to fit it well into the roll.

Then the avocado

Next to it, line up 1-2 thick slices avocado. You can use as much avocado as you want – just remember you need to be able to close the nori around it so don’t over do it.

Tip – if you’re not serving the dish immediately, you might want to squeeze a few drops of lemon on the avocado, to prevent it from turning brown.

Almost there

Now simply Roll it inside out. You can find detailed instructions on how to roll inside out sushi here. Cut into 8 equal pieces. For best results first cut in half, then cut each half into two, and then again.

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Best served with soy sauce, pickled ginger (gari) and wasabi.

Recipe Rating

  • (4.3 /5)
  • 63 ratings