California Rolls (with Tips on Cutting the Rolls)

California Rolls (with Tips on Cutting the Rolls)

I learned how to make these while I lived in California. Authentic California rolls usually contain minced crab meat filling, but smoke salmon also makes a good substitute.

Ingredients: 4 rolls / 4 servings

White rice
2 rice cooker cups (360 ml)
2 cm square
Sushi vinegar
3-4 tablespoons
Sushi seaweed
4 sheets
Smoked salmon
about 100 g
Cream cheese
4 tablespoons
Sesame seeds
to taste


1. <Making sushi rice> Cook 2 rice cooker cups of rice with water and konbu seaweed.
2. Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a bowl or sushi oke (wooden bowl for sushi), and fold the sushi vinegar into the rice using a cutting motion.
3. If you've used a bowl, transfer the mixed sushi rice to a flat plate and let cool. (This prevents moisture from collecting in the bottom of the bowl.)
4. Meanwhile, cut the filling ingredients and put them on a plate.
5. Cut the nori seaweed sheet into two-thirds. The rolls will be very thick if you use the whole sheet.
6. On a sushi rolling mat, lay a nori seaweed sheet and spread out the sushi rice over the nori seaweed. Make sure all 4 corners are fully covered.
7. Leave the sushi rolling mat, and transfer the nori seaweed and the sushi rice to a plate.
8. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the sushi rolling mat, and place the nori seaweed and sushi rice from earlier with the nori seaweed side up. Flip the plate slowly to position them neatly.
9. Arrange the filling ingredients in the center of the seaweed. Put the avocado slices on the bottom side of the filling section. This way the salmon and cream cheese will keep the avocado from moving while rolling up.
10. Roll it up using the sushi rolling mat. Be careful not to squeeze it too tightly.
11. <Tips for rolling California rolls> When rolling up, bring the bottom end of the nori seaweed to the red dotted line shown in the picture so the sushi rice will act as a glue.
12. Once the ingredients are rolled up, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the sesame seeds. Wrap the roll again with the plastic wrap and set aside for about 15 minutes.
13. <Tips for cutting California rolls> To prevent the rolls from breaking apart, cut them with the plastic wrap on. Tilt the knife and slice slowly.
14. <Tips for cutting California rolls> Moisten the knife with a wet towel before each slice so the cross section of the sushi roll will look neat.
15. Once the rolls are cut, gently remove the plastic wrap.
16. On a platter, carefully arrange the sushi rolls one by one, and it's done!

Story Behind this Recipe

California rolls are rolled inside out, which makes them very easy to fall apart when cutting. I hadn't been able to figure out how to cut them properly, but then I saw the sushi master at a popular local sushi restaurant cut them before removing the plastic wrap.
I think using a very sharp knife counts too.