California Roll

California Roll

California roll or California Maki is a type of sushi roll that contains cucumber, crab stick (kani) and mango / avocado which is made inside out then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Though this looks so Japanese it did not originated in Japan but in United States by a Japanese chef during the 1970′s. It all started in California when Ichiro Mashita began substituting avocadoes for tuna due to its oily texture that resembles the fish it is replacing; other ingredients were tried giving birth to that popular combination of crab stick, cucumber, avocado and mayonnaise. Mashita also inverted the rolling process (uramaki) as Americans did not like chewing on the nori outside the roll. This type of sushi became popular in California and it spread its popularity across the United States by 1980′s. Due to this popularity other type of sushi rolls were exposed to the American palate from simple tuna avocado roll to more exotic options.

This post reminded me of an ex-colleague of mine when he saw my sushi post and gave me a challenge whether I can do it inside out. After several months later, here is the result of his challenge, though is too late and he is not my office mate anymore its better late than never.

Ingredients (Sushi Rice)

1 cup Japanese Short-Grain Rice
1 1/4 cups Cold Water
3 tablespoons Mirin (Sushi Rice Vinegar)

Ingredients (Sushi Roll)

2 cups Freshly Prepared Sushi Rice
1 large mango, sliced
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 small cucumber, sliced, peeled and cored
4 crabsticks
4 sheets of Nori Seaweed Wrapper
cling wrap, cut into a Nori Seaweed Wrapper size

Method (Sushi Rice)

1. Rinse rice with water until drain water runs clear.
2. Place rice and cold water in a small rice cooker and cook.
3. Once cooked stand for 10 minutes covered in rice cooker.
4. Place rice in ceramic bowl then slowly add vinegar while mixing the rice.
5. Set aside to cool in room temperature but keep rice covered with a damp cloth while preparing.

Method (Sushi Roll)

1. Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface then place a sheet of cling wrap on top.
2. Sprinkle sesame seed on top then cover the cling wrap with thin layer of sushi rice, press it firmly with a bamboo spoon and distribute it evenly on the edges.
3. Place nori on top of the rice.
4. Place a teaspoon of mayonnaise across the top edge then place strips of kani, cucumber and mango side by side.
5. Now roll the bamboo mat starting at the edge while pressing it firmly, continue until it reaches the end of the bamboo mat.
6. Remove the roll from the bamboo mat and carefully slice into 1 inch thick pieces. Moisten the sharp knife every time you cut a new slice.

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32 thoughts on “California Roll

  1. Great history lesson there on the origins of this ubiquitous sushi roll, thanks Ray !

    Also, I am super jealous that you can make your sushi rolls so perfectly with all the filling in the middle. Mine always come out wonky. Well done.

  2. This is my favorite sushi. I buy it but have always been afraid to make it. I PROMISE to try very soon. And i can find all the ingredients. So often out here i cannot make recipes i read because I cannot find the ingredients! thank you c

  3. Simply beautiful, Raymund! I’m actually not a huge fan of sashimi (I think it’s a texture thing), so I often order California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, etc. at restaurants. But, I would take your roll over the restaurant’s any day.

  4. This is the first kind of sushi I remember trying. Delicious! Especially wonderful that as I had it in Washington state the restaurant had easy and inexpensive access to the sweet and succulent native Dungeness crab, so the real thing was tucked in. Ohhhhhh, so good. I’m certain the fresh crab was harder to ‘manage’ than crab sticks, so it’s lucky for us that we had a true Japanese sushi master working nearby to do the honors for us, something I never would have dared attempt. You brought back wonderful memories here, Raymund, and I thank you!!

  5. Oh man, I tried and tried to get my daughter to have sushi at lunch today. Seeing this post is not helping me out any with my craving! Thanks for the history lesson, that was very interesting. I always wondering why it was called the California Roll. I learn something new everyday. Seriously!

  6. Beautiful background info and great looking sushi to what is really an American roll. I doubt I would try this at home as there are so many great Japanese restaurants here in Sydney and I know my best efforts would pale in comparison to the skillful Japanese chefs.

  7. Your sushi is very pretty! I’ve never tried making the kind with the rice on the outside like that- just barely mastered with the nori on the outside!

  8. Love it! Sushi is a personal favorite and you can never go wrong with using mango in a roll. Your sushi looks perfect, I’m still trying to get the hang of rolling it.

  9. I am so impressed with your gorgeous California roll! This is my 5 yr. old grandson’s favorite food, and I really need to learn how to make it. :)

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