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Spicy Crab rolls: Easy Step-by-Step Recipe

Delicious Spicy Crab Roll Sushi Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Spicy crab roll close up.

Thanks to the sriracha mayo mixed with the crab, spicy crab rolls are like California rolls with a spicy kick. This flavorful roll is a staple in sushi restaurants around the world. In addition, the spicy crab roll is fairly easy to make!

In addition to answering all your spicy crab roll questions, we will walk you through how to make this tasty roll step-by-step!

Spicy crab roll close up.

What is a Spicy Crab Roll

While the exact origins of this roll are debated, most agree that this roll was invented in the US in the late 70’s when sushi chefs began substituting tuna for crab when making spicy tuna rolls. While I have seen this roll prepared both as a maki (rice on the inside of the nori sheet) and an uramaki roll (rice on the outside of the nori sheet), the uramaki presentation is definitely a more common way to prepare spicy crab rolls.

What’s in a Spicy Crab Roll

Spicy Crab roll

Spicy crab rolls are fairly simple rolls often consisting of the sushi rice, a nori sheet (seaweed sheet) and the spicy crab salad filling. The spicy crab salad is shredded imitation crab mixed with spicy Japanese mayo (Japanese mayo mixed with sriracha sauce).

I also like to garnish this roll with white and black sesame seeds. However, this roll is often garnished with tobiko or masago (red or orange fish roe) as well. Many chefs also drizzle spicy Japanese mayo over the top of the cut rolls before serving.

How to Control the Thickness of Your Sushi Roll

You can control how thick your sushi rolls are by how much of the nori sheet you use.  This recipe uses half of the nori sheet as I think this makes it easier to eat with chopsticks. However, if you like larger rolls, you can use an entire nori sheet.  This will definitely make the roll thicker and easier to roll.  You can also cut off the top 1/4 of the nori sheet to increase the thickness of the roll depending on your preference.

How to Make a Spicy Crab Roll

Making sushi rolls can be broken down to three main steps. First, you cook the sushi rice. Then, you prepare the ingredients. Finally, assemble and cut the sushi roll. Below is a step-by-step discussion on how to make spicy crab rolls.

Spicy Crab Roll

Cook the Sushi Rice

1. Rinse 2/3 cup 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 cup of water.

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 2 tbsp. 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.

Check out the following article for a more thorough discussion and recipe on sushi rice: Sushi Rice: Easy Sushi Rice Recipe

Prepare the Spicy Crab Salad

1. Shred crab in a large bowl.

2. Add the Japanese mayonnaise and sriracha sauce and gently mix together until combined.

Mix spicy crab salad

Assemble and Cut the Rolls

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

2. Press rice onto nori sheets: Next, break the nori sheet in half and place onto the plastic wrap with the shiny side facing down. Then press around 1/2 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Combine a bowl of water and a splash of rice vinegar and use to wet your hands prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.

Tear nori sheet in half and press rice onto the nori sheet of the spicy crab roll

3. Add sesame seeds to the rice: Evenly sprinkle sesame seeds on your sushi rice.

Add black and white sesame seeds for the spicy crab roll

4. Flip nori sheet over: Gently flip the nori sheet over so the rice is facing down. You will add the filling directly to the nori sheet with the rice on the outside.

Flip the nori sheet for the spicy crab roll

5. 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.

Adding filling to the spicy crab roll sushi

6. 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 roll, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn’t get caught in the sushi. 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 press, tightening 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.

Roll the sushi

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

Cutting the spicy crab roll

8. Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi rolls are traditionally served with pickled ginger as well.

Spicy Crab Roll Recipe

Spicy crab roll close up.

Spicy Crab Roll Recipe

Delicious Spicy Crab Roll Sushi Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Spicy crab roll, Spicy crab roll sushi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Rolls
Calories: 216kcal

Equipment

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

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • 2/3 cups Sushi rice dried, will cook to 2 cups
  • 2 Tbsp. Sushi vinegar

Sushi Roll

  • 2 Nori sheets
  • 8 oz Imitation crab or real crab
  • 3 tbsp Japanese mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • Black and white sesame seeds

Instructions

Cook Sushi Rice

  • Rinse 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 cup 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 2 Tbsp. 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 the Crab Salad Filling

  • Shred crab in a large bowl.
  • Add the Japanese mayonnaise and sriracha sauce and gently mix together until combined.

Assemble the Spicy Crab Rolls

  • 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 1/2 cup of rice onto the nori sheet in an even layer. Tip: Combine a bowl of water and a splash of rice vinegar and use to wet your hands prior to handling the sushi rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
  • Add sesame seeds to the rice: Evenly sprinkle sesame seeds on your sushi rice.
  • Flip nori sheet over: Gently flip the nori sheet over so the rice is facing down. You will add the filling directly to the nori sheet with the rice on the outside.
  • 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.
  • 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 roll, pull back the sushi mat so it doesn't get caught in the sushi. 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 press, tightening 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.
  • Cut the roll: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. I do this by first cutting the roll in half. Then cutting each half in half. Then cutting each fourth in half. Tip: Be sure to clean and wet the edge of your knife before cutting each roll.
  • Serve and enjoy: I usually serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi rolls are traditionally served with pickled ginger as well.

Video

Notes

You can control how thick your sushi rolls are by how much of the nori sheet you use.  This recipe uses half the nori sheet which makes bite size rolls.
If you like larger rolls rolls, you can use 3/4 a nori sheet or a full nori sheet.  

Nutrition

Serving: 1Roll | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.8g | Protein: 3.6g | Fat: 7.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 3.7g | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Are spicy crab rolls gluten free?

Spicy crab rolls served in most sushi restaurants are not always gluten free as often the imitation crab will contain gluten. However, you can make it gluten free by using gluten free imitation crab as all the other ingredients are gluten free.

Are spicy crab rolls cooked?

Yes. Spicy crab rolls contain no raw fish. All ingredients in a spicy crab roll are cooked.

Final Thoughts on Spicy Crab Rolls

This simple, yet delicious cooked sushi option makes a great addition to any sushi platter. If you enjoy spicy food, this roll is for you! We hope that you have found this article informative and helpful as you embark on preparing your own spicy crab rolls. Happy cooking!

For more great sushi recipes, check out the following articles:

Delicious California Roll Recipe

Delicious Oshinko Roll Recipe

The 25 Best Cooked Sushi

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