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How to Make Dynamite Rolls

Spicy Dynamite Roll Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Square photo of dynamite rolls arranged on a white sushi plate.

Known for their savory flavor and spicy sauce, dynamite rolls are a popular choice in sushi restaurants across the US. The combination of shrimp tempura, crab, and spicy dynamite sauce make this a delicious and filling roll that’s a must try for any sushi fan.

Vertical photo of dynamite rolls served on a white sushi plate with chopsticks and unagi sauce in the background.

What is a Dynamite Roll

Dynamite rolls on a white sushi plate with a ramekin of unagi sauce and chopsticks in the background.

A dynamite roll is typically prepared as an uramaki roll, or roll where the rice is on the outside of the nori seaweed wrapper. It combines the ingredients of the shrimp tempura roll and the California roll and is topped with a spicy mayo that is known as dynamite sauce.

Because this roll contains both crab and shrimp tempura along with veggies and dynamite sauce, it tends to be thicker roll that’s more filling. One dynamite roll makes for a filling lunch if you are eating it by yourself.

How to Control the Thickness of Your Rolls

You can control how thick your sushi rolls are by how much of the nori sheet you use.  This recipe uses an entire nori sheet which makes thicker rolls. I prefer to an entire nori sheet for dynamite rolls as they contain a lot of ingredients and they are tougher to roll if you use a partial nori sheet.

If you like thinner rolls you can use 2/3 or 1/2 of the nori sheet. However, this would be difficult to roll unless you reduce the fillings.

How do you Make Dynamite Rolls

Because dynamite rolls contain quite a few ingredients, they can be a little more complex to prepare than some other rolls. However, when broken down the preparation is fairly simple and goes by quickly. Below we show the basic steps of preparing dynamite rolls with pictures at each step of the process.

Cook Sushi Rice

1. Rinse 1 2/3 cups of sushi rice by placing it in a colander and running water through it until the water is clear.

Rinse the sushi rice in water prior to cooking

2. After the rice is rinsed, add it to a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water. I would check the instructions on the sushi rice package to see exactly how much water to add as it can vary depending on the brand.

Add sushi rice to a sauce pot with the amount of water as recommended on sushi rice package

3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the rice simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.

Bring sushi rice to a boil and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

4. Remove the rice and place into a bowl or dish and let cool. I would line the dish with parchment paper prior to adding the rice to avoid sticking.

Add sushi rice to a bowl or casserole dish lined with parchment paper. This prevents the rice from sticking to the bowl or dish.

5. Mix 1/4 cup of sushi vinegar into your rice. Stir until it has absorbed into the rice. Once cooled and fully absorbed, your rice is ready to roll!

Mix sushi vinegar into the sushi rice using a chopping motion until the vinegar until fully absorbed into sushi rice.

Prepare Dynamite Sauce

1. Combine 1/2 cup of Japanese mayo, 1 Tbsp. of sriracha sauce, and 1 tsp. of honey into a small mixing bowl and stir until mixture is combined.

Mix the Japanese mayo, sriracha sauce, and honey to make the dynamite sauce.

2. Cover and place in the fridge until needed.

Prepare the Crab Salad Filling

Note: If you are using real crab you can skip this step and add the crab directly to the sushi roll without mixing with Japanese mayo.

1. To make the crab salad, start by shredding the imitation crab into a bowl with two forks.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of Japanese mayonnaise with a pinch of salt and gently mix together.

Mix crab salad

Stretch the Shrimp

1. To prepare the shrimp for tempura, we need to start by stretching the shrimp. To do this, remove the shells from shrimp, leaving the tails on. Remove the spiky part of the tail closest to the back as that can pop when frying.

Removing shells from shrimp

2. Next we need to devein the shrimp. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut along the back of the shrimp about 1/4 of the way through to expose the vein. Once exposed, scrape out the vein with your knife.

Devein the shrimp

3. Next, use your knife to scrape the black liquid out of the tail as this liquid can also cause the shrimp to pop during frying. Rinse the shrimp and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.

Using knife to scrape black liquid out of the tail of the shrimp

4. Stretch the shrimp by using a sharp knife to cut slits along the belly from the head to the tail. Then use your fingers to press the shrimp against the cutting board. You should feel the shrimp muscles cracking each time you press down straightening the shrimp.

Stretching the shrimp for tempura

Prepare Tempura Batter

1. In a sauce pan, heat around 6 cups of vegetable oil on medium heat to 350 degrees.

Heat oil on medium heat to 350 degrees.

2. Assemble the ingredients and chill the water. You may need to add ice if you don’t have access to very cold water. However, make sure to remove ice cubes before combining with egg.

3. Crack one egg into a small bowl and beat until the yolk and white are combined.

Stir egg for tempura batter

4. Add cold water to the egg and mix well. I like to strain ice water directly into the bowl. This assures that the water is ice cold.

Add water to egg mix for tempura batter

5. Next, sift one cup of flour into the egg and water combination.

Sift flour into egg/water mixture for tempura batter

6. Using a spoon or chopstick, lightly mix making sure not to over stir. The batter should be combined but a little lumpy.

Mix tempura batter

Prepare shrimp tempura

7. Put the remaining cup of flour into a bowl or plate. Dip the shrimp into the flour making sure the entire piece of shrimp is coated in flour. This helps the batter to stick to the shrimp.

Dredging the shrimp for tempura

8. Holding by the tail, dip each shrimp into the batter ensuring the piece is evenly coated. Then gently drop the batter into the vegetable oil, cooking for around a minute to a minute and a half, or until the batter is slightly crunchy and the shrimp is cooked through. Once done cooking, place shrimp on a plate covered with two or three paper towels to help soak up any excess oil. Repeat this process for all shrimp.

Cooking the shrimp tempura

9. Discard the remaining oil when complete.

Assemble the Dynamite Rolls

1. Cut the avocado and cucumber: Slice the avocado in half the long way. Remove the seed and cut each half into 6 slices. Each whole avocado should yield around 12 slices. I would also drizzle lemon juice over the avocado after cutting to prevent it from browning in your sushi roll. You will then need to cut the cucumbers into strips that are as long as your nori sheet and about 1/8 inch thick.

2. Prepare your bamboo sushi mat: Cover your bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. This will help keep the rice from sticking to it.

3. Press rice onto nori sheets: Next, place the nori sheet onto the plastic wrap with the shiny side facing down. Then press around 1 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Wet your hands in a bowl of water mixed with a splash of rice vinegar prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.

Spread the rice onto the nori sheet for the dynamite roll.

4. Add sesame seeds: After the rice is pressed onto the nori sheet, add a thin layer of black sesame seeds to the top of the rice. Then flip the sheet over so the rice is facing down.

Sprinkle black sesame seeds onto the rice before flipping the nori sheet.  I think this makes the dynamite roll makes the presentation pop.

5. Add dynamite sauce: Add a thin line of dynamite sauce to the nori sheet prior to adding any of the other fillings. This helps to add a kick of heat to the roll.

Add a line of dynamite sauce to the dynamite roll.

6. Add the avocado and cucumber: Add the avocado slices and cucumber sticks horizontally along the nori sheet. In general, I add 2-4 avocado slices and 1-2 cucumber sticks depending on the size of each ingredient and how everything fits.

Add avocado slices and a cucumber slice to the dynamite roll.

7. Add the crab: Spoon about 1/4 of the crab salad mixture onto the nori sheet and spread evenly across the middle of the sheet.

Add crab salad to the dynamite roll.

8. Add the shrimp: Add two pieces of shrimp to the middle of the roll with the tails sticking out of each end.

Add shrimp tempura to the dynamite roll.

9. Roll the sushi: Use the bamboo sushi mat to fold your roll until it’s completely enclosed. Once the rice is making contact with the nori sheet, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn’t get caught in the roll. Still using the sushi mat as your guide, finish rolling until the roll is completely wrapped. Then wrap the sushi mat around the roll and gently tighten the roll together. Keep in mind that rolling sushi is an art that may take some practice so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look perfect your first time. It will get easier the more you do it. Tip: See the video below for an example of how to roll sushi.

Roll the dynamite roll.

10. Cut the roll: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. I do this by first cutting the roll in half. Then I cut each half in half followed by each fourth in half. Tip: Be sure to clean and wet the edge of your knife before cutting each roll.

Cut the dynamite roll into 8 evenly sized pieces.

11. Drizzle with dynamite sauce: Once the sushi rolls are cut, drizzle the rolls with dynamite sauce to taste. I like to add a thinner layer of sauce to the top of the rolls as it makes it easier to eat. You can always dip the rolls into a small ramekin of dynamite sauce if you would like.

Drizzle the dynamite roll with dynamite sauce to give the roll a spicy kick.

12. Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with a small ramekin of unagi sauce (eel sauce) or dynamite sauce.

Dynamite Roll Recipe

Square photo of dynamite rolls arranged on a white sushi plate.

Dynamite Roll Recipe

Spicy Dynamite Roll Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Dynamite Roll, Dynamite roll sushi
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Rolls
Calories: 704kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Bamboo Sushi Mat
  • 1 Pot for cooking sushi rice
  • 1 Pot for frying tempura batter
  • 1 Sharp knife and cutting board

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • 1 1/3 cups Sushi Rice dried, will cook to 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup Sushi Vinegar

Dynamite Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Japanese mayo
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. Honey

Crab Salad

  • 8 oz. Crab (real or imitation)
  • 1 Tbsp. Japanese mayo
  • Salt

Tempura Batter

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Egg Large
  • 1 cup Water Ice cold

Roll and Filling

  • 4 Nori Sheets
  • 8 Pieces Shrimp Size – 13 to 15 per pound
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 English Cucumber Sliced into 1/8 sticks

Instructions

Cook Sushi Rice

  • Rinse 1 2/3 cups of sushi rice by placing it in a colander and running water through it until the water is clear.
  • After the rice is rinsed, add it to a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the rice simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.
  • Remove the rice and place into a bowl or dish and let cool. I would line the dish with parchment paper prior to adding the rice to avoid sticking.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of sushi vinegar into your rice. Stir until it has absorbed into the rice. Once cooled and fully absorbed, your rice is ready to roll!

Prepare Dynamite Sauce

  • Combine 1/2 cup of Japanese mayo, 1 Tbsp. of sriracha sauce, and 1 tsp. of honey into a small mixing bowl and stir until mixture is combined.
  • Cover and place in the fridge until needed.

Prepare the Crab Salad Filling

  • Note: If you are using real crab you can skip this step and add the crab directly to the sushi roll without mixing with Japanese mayo.
    To make the crab salad, start by shredding the imitation crab into a bowl with two forks.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Japanese mayonnaise with a pinch of salt and gently mix together.

Stretch the Shrimp

  • Remove shells from shrimp, leaving the tails on. Remove the spiky part of the tail closest to the back as that can pop when frying.
  • You then need to devein the shrimp. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut along the back of the shrimp about 1/4 of the way through to expose the vein. Once exposed, scrape out the vein with your knife.
  • Use your knife to scrape the black liquid out of the tail as this liquid can also cause the shrimp to pop during frying. Rinse the shrimp and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
  • Stretch the shrimp by using a sharp knife to cut slits along the belly of shrimp from the head to the tail. Then use your fingers to press the shrimp against the cutting board. You should feel the shrimp muscles cracking each time you press down straightening the shrimp.

Prepare Tempura Batter

  • In a sauce pan, heat around 6 cups of vegetable oil on medium heat to 350 degrees.
  • Assemble the ingredients and chill the water. You may need to add ice if you don't have access to very cold water. However, make sure to remove ice cubes before combining with egg.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat until the yolk and white are combined.
  • Add cold water to the egg and mix well. I like to strain ice water directly into the bowl as this assures the water is ice cold when added to the batter.
  • Sift flour into the egg and water combination.
  • Using a spoon or chopstick, lightly mix making sure not to over stir. The batter should be combined but a little lumpy.

Prepare shrimp tempura

  • Put the remaining cup of flour into a bowl or plate. Dip the shrimp into the flour making sure the entire piece of shrimp is coated in flour. This helps the batter to stick to the flour.
  • Holding by the tail, dip each shrimp into the batter ensuring the piece is evenly coated. Then gently drop the batter into the vegetable oil, cooking for around a minute to a minute and a half, or until the batter is slightly crunchy and the shrimp is cooked through. Once done, place on a plate covered with two or three paper towels to help soak up any excess oil. Repeat this process for all shrimp.
  • Discard the remaining oil when complete.

Assemble the Dynamite Rolls

  • Cut the avocado and cucumber: Slice the avocado in half the long way. Remove the seed and cut each half into 6 slices. Each whole avocado should yield around 12 slices. I would also drizzle lemon juice over the avocado after cutting to prevent it from browning in your sushi roll.
    You will then need to cut the cucumbers into strips that are as long as your nori sheet and about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Prepare your bamboo sushi mat: Cover your bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. This will help keep the rice from sticking to it.
  • Press rice onto nori sheets: Next, place the nori sheet onto the plastic wrap with the shiny side facing down. Then press around 1 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Wet your hands in a bowl of water mixed with a splash of rice vinegar prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • Add sesame seeds: After the rice is pressed onto the nori sheet, add a thin layer of black sesame seeds to the top of the rice. Then flip the sheet over so the rice is facing down.
  • Add a thin line of dynamite sauce: Add a thin line of dynamite sauce to the nori sheet prior to adding any of the other fillings. This helps to add a kick of heat to the roll.
  • Add the avocado and cucumber: Add the avocado slices and cucumber sticks horizontally along the nori sheet. In general, I add 2-4 avocado slices and 1-2 cucumber sticks depending on the size of each ingredient and how everything fits.
  • Add the crab: Spoon about 1/4 of the crab salad mixture onto the nori sheet and spread evenly across the middle of the sheet.
  • Add the shrimp: Add two pieces of shrimp to the middle of the roll with the tails sticking out of each end.
  • Roll the sushi: Use the bamboo sushi mat to fold your roll until it is completely enclosed. Once the rice is making contact with the nori roll, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn't get caught in the roll. Still using the sushi mat as your guide, finish rolling until the roll is completely wrapped. Then wrap the sushi mat around the roll and gently tighten the roll together.
    Keep in mind that rolling sushi is an art that may take some practice so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look perfect your first time. It will get easier the more you do it.
    Tip: Check out the video for a demonstration on how to roll sushi.
  • Cut the roll: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. I do this by first cutting the roll in half. I then cut each half in half followed by cutting each fourth in half. Tip: Be sure to clean and wet the edge of your knife before cutting each roll.
  • Drizzle with dynamite sauce: Once the sushi rolls are cut, drizzle the rolls with dynamite sauce to taste. I like to add a thinner layer of sauce to the top of the rolls as it makes it easier to eat. You can always dip the rolls into a small ramekin of dynamite sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with a small ramekin of unagi sauce (eel sauce) or dynamite sauce.

Video

Notes

You can control how thick your sushi rolls are by how much of the nori sheet you use.  This recipe uses the entire nori sheet which makes thicker rolls.
If you like smaller rolls, you can cut 1/4  or 1/2 from the nori sheet.  This will definitely make the roll thinner and easier to eat with chopsticks but it can be trickier to roll.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Roll | Calories: 704kcal | Carbohydrates: 70.1g | Protein: 22.4g | Fat: 30.3g | Saturated Fat: 3.9g | Cholesterol: 154.5mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 5.2g | Sugar: 8.2g | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3.1mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a dynamite roll cooked?

Yes. All the ingredients in a dynamite roll are fully cooked.

Is a dynamite roll an authentic Japanese sushi?

The dynamite roll was created in the United States and is more popular in the West than Japan.

Is a dynamite roll gluten-free?

Unless stated otherwise, I would assume a dynamite roll you order from a restaurant will contain gluten as the shrimp tempura contains gluten and often the imitation crab can contain gluten. However, you can make a dynamite roll gluten-free by using gluten-free flour in the shrimp tempura and making sure you use an imitation crab that is gluten-free.

Final Thoughts on Dynamite Rolls

While dynamite rolls contain more steps than many other types of sushi, the end result is well worth the effort. In addition, you can use the dynamite sauce for many other rolls as well. Happy cooking!

For more great information, check out the below articles:

Delicious Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (Crunchy California Roll)

Ebi Sushi: What it is and How to Make it

The 25 Best Cooked Sushi

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