California Rolls

Sushi fans will love California rolls, which are simply sushi rolled inside out, so that the seaweed is on the inside. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for dipping.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1½ cups short or medium-grain rice
  • 6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ½ lb. imitation crab
  • 4 tsp. mayonnaise, preferably Japanese
  • 4 nori (seaweed) sheets
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds


  • Rinse the rice 2 or 3 times, until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, add the rice and just enough water to cover. Bring the water and rice mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid (about 20 minutes). Remove the rice from the heat and let it stand, still covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is standing, heat the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the cooked rice, and slowly work it into the rice, taking care not to mash the grains. (Use a rice paddle if you have one.)
  • Peel the avocadoes, cut in half, and remove the pit in the middle. Cut into 1½" strips. Toss the strips with the lemon juice. Peel the cucumber, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber into thin strips ⅛" long. Mix the crabmeat with the mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  • To make the rolls, cover a bamboo sushi rolling mat with a piece of plastic wrap. Lay 1 nori sheet on the mat, shiny-side down. Spread ¾ cup of the sushi rice over the nori, pressing it down firmly. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds. Lay another sheet of plastic wrap on top. Carefully turn the nori over. Remove the plastic sheet that was on the bottom.
  • Lay ¼ of the avocado and cucumber strips on the nori. Spread 1 teaspoon of the crabmeat and mayonnaise mixture over. Carefully roll up the nori into a cylinder, moving the bamboo sheet forward as you do so. Repeat with the remainder of the nori.
  • Cut each nori roll into bite-sized pieces.