Vegan Crab California Rolls – Sushi



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Yesterday, I posted my Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad (seen just above) – fully intending to make these California rolls with it and – today – I did!  California rolls are no mystery & this is just a suggested way to use the crab salad.

If your local market makes sushi or carries fresh sushi – they usually sell extra wasabi & ginger there, too.  That is where I get mine.  Powdered wasabi (that you add water to) is also good but just buying it ready to go is cheap & easy so – why the fuck not?

I buy the nori at my local Thai market because they charge under $2 for a package & Gelson’s charges closer to $5.  Same for the sushi rice.  Ethnic foods are – typically – WAY less expensive in ethnic markets than they are in the ethnic aisles of your local grocery store – so – look into that option (if saving money appeals to you).  Indian markets & Asian markets & Hispanic markets are great resources for rices & spices at drastically discounted prices.  Just FYI.

Sushi rice is shorter than most other common rices but I think you can make sushi rice with any rice.  I used the stuff you see below.

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As to the filling of a California roll – I went pretty traditional – using the vegan crab, avocado and cucumber – and I added carrots.  This is absolutely not a science so do what suits you.

Sushi Rice

2 cups rice – washed until the water runs clear

3 cups water

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I like less sugar but this is a matter of taste)

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Put the rice in the water & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Wrapping the lid of the pan in a kitchen towel creates a tighter seal & cooks the rice more quickly but be careful not to set the towel on fire.  When it is done – transfer to a large bowl, fluff & allow to cool.

(Photo stolen from Google)


Heat the vinegar & stir in the sugar & salt.  Stir until the salt & sugar dissolve.  Allow to cool.

When the rice is cool – stir in the vinegar & mix it in well.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  I actually like the rice room-temp, so I leave it out before I use it – but this is just my preference.

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California Rolls 


Cooked sushi rice

Nori sheets

Vegan crab (see link above)

Avocado – sliced

Carrot – cut into long matchsticks

Cucumber – cut into long matchsticks

GARNISH – wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, black and/or white sesame seeds


I don’t use a sushi roller mat.  I just free-form it.  HERE are a bunch of videos & other technique options you might like to try.

I do it near the sink with cool water running.  Sticky rice is, indeed, sticky & will stick to everything.  The water helps rinse it off.

Put the shiny side of the nori down & pack some rice onto it.  Go light.  I went heavy & my rolls were huge (in girth) and messy to eat.  You can probably go more sparse with the rice than you guess – just leave about 1-inch clean on one end.

Layer the other ingredients in there & roll it.  Wet that clean inch with wet fingers & roll over that to close to roll.  Leave it resting on the seam as you roll any others you might be making.

Slice with a wet, sharp knife.

Garnish as you will & eat!

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6 thoughts on “Vegan Crab California Rolls – Sushi

  1. Pingback: Menu Makeover: 10 Asian Recipes - Chequamegon Food Co-op

  2. Pingback: 25 Wonderful Vegan Mother's Day Recipes to Treat Her | The Green Loot

  3. Pingback: 17 Vegan Sushi Recipes You Should Try Making Yourself - Morgan Boulevard

  4. Pingback: 17 Vegan Sushi Recipes You Should Try Making Yourself - Morgan Boulevard

  5. Hi! So for this recipe what is typically imitation crab, you used the “full crab salad” you made – not a specific part of the crab salad.. right?


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