Spicy Crab Salad Sushi Recipe

Let's be honest here: Your sushi may not come out looking all that professional the first time you make it. Or the second. It probably won't look all that amazing the third time or the fourth, but each and every time you roll up a tube of this Japanese classic, your handiwork will come out looking better. In even better news than that, if you follow this recipe closely, your food will come out tasting great every time, no matter how it looks.

And hey, if flavor is all you're going for, no problem. "You could also serve this spicy crab salad on a bed of cucumbers, or in half of an avocado, instead of making sushi rolls," says chef and recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine. But you're not one to shrink from a challenge, right? 

The real secret here is to take your time and be patient, and follow all of Pisula's little tips, too, like when she says, "It's useful to dampen your fingers when pressing rice onto the nori sheets," as that stops the rice from sticking to your fingers. But even then you must use care, as she adds, "Just make sure they are not dripping wet and drip onto your sushi roll. Otherwise, you'll get soggy sushi." And soggy sushi is certainly not ideal. So just plan to have fun, and let's get ready to roll.

Gather the ingredients for spicy crab salad sushi

It takes a fair amount of ingredients to make these sushi rolls, so let's get right to them! For the rice, you'll need sushi rice (go figure), water, and seasoned rice vinegar. "If you don't have seasoned rice vinegar, add a small amount of sugar and salt to your unseasoned rice vinegar," says Pisula.

For the filling and the toppings, you'll need surimi (which is imitation crabmeat), chopped scallions, Japanese Kewpie mayo (divided), Sriracha hot sauce (also divided), and seedless cucumber. And for the assembly, you'll need nori seaweed sheets and both black and toasted sesame seeds.

Prepare the rice

Without great rice, you can't have great sushi ... or even good sushi. So do this one right! To make the sushi rice, start by putting the rice in a bowl and covering it with cool water. Swirl it around with your fingers, then drain the water, and repeat that three or four more times, or until the water is almost clear. Then, pour the rice into a fine-meshed sieve after you've rinsed it, and let it sit and drain for up to 30 minutes. "This step is optional, but helps with the texture of the rice," Pisula says.

Next, add the rice to a large, heavy saucepan, and pour in 1 ¾ cups of water. Bring it to a boil, stir the rice, then cover it, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook the rice for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes before opening the lid.

Now, stir the rice vinegar into the rice, then spread out the rice in a large shallow pan or bowl. Stir it until the rice has stopped steaming. You can use the rice immediately, or cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature for several hours.

Prepare your filling and the spicy sauce

To make the filling, pull the surimi into thin shreds with your fingers. It can be helpful to press a knife firmly over the length of the "crab" stick, then pull apart the individual shreds. Alternatively, you can chop the surimi into small pieces. Then, cut the cucumber into long, thin sticks (aka julienne it).

Next, put the surimi into a large bowl, then add in the chopped scallions, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of Sriracha, and stir everything with a fork.

Finally, for this step, make the spicy mayo topping by stirring together 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon Sriracha in a small bowl. Transfer it to a squeeze bottle for drizzling later.

Prepare the seaweed and rice

To assemble the spicy sushi rolls, first wrap a bamboo sushi mat in plastic wrap. Then, slice a sheet of nori in half, and place one half-sheet, shiny side down, on top of the mat. Next, fill a small bowl with water, and place it nearby.

Now, with the nori sheet in front of you horizontally, press a little more than ½ cup of rice evenly over the nori, leaving about ½-inch of the seaweed empty along the top edge. Use the bowl of water to dampen your fingers periodically so that the rice does not stick to your fingers. Remember not to let them be dripping wet!

Sprinkle the spread-out rice with toasted sesame seeds and black sesame seeds, then carefully flip over the rice-covered nori sheet, so that the rice is on the bottom.

Assemble, roll, and slice the sushi

Now, add the spicy crab salad in a horizontal line about ½-inch from the bottom edge of the nori sheet. Then, add a couple of cucumber sticks next to the crab salad.

Next, use the mat to help you roll up the sushi, tucking the filling in gently with your fingers as you begin to roll. Continue to roll, using the mat to press evenly but firmly, until you have a tight cylinder.

Place the roll on a cutting board, seam-side down, and use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces. To serve, drizzle with spicy mayo topping. "You can also serve the rolls with soy sauce either instead of or in addition to the spicy mayo topping," Pisula says. Whatever sounds great to you!

Spicy Crab Salad Sushi Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
If you follow this spicy crab salad sushi recipe closely, your food will come out tasting great every time.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
sushi rolls on plate
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups sushi rice
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 12 ounces surimi (imitation crabmeat)
  • ½ seedless cucumber, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 4 tablespoons Japanese Kewpie mayo, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce, divided
  • 4 nori seaweed sheets
Optional Ingredients
  • black sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame seeds
Directions
  1. To make the sushi rice, start by putting the rice in a bowl and covering with cool water. Swirl it around with your fingers, then drain the water. Repeat 3 to 4 more times, or until the water is almost clear.
  2. Pour the rice into a fine-meshed sieve after you've rinsed it, and let it sit and drain for up to 30 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to a large, heavy saucepan, and pour in 1 ¾ cups of water.
  4. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit for 10 minutes before opening the lid.
  6. Stir the rice vinegar into the rice, then spread out the rice in a large shallow pan or bowl. Stir until the rice has stopped steaming. (You can use the rice immediately, or cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature for several hours.)
  7. To make the filling, pull the surimi into thin shreds. (Alternatively, chop the surimi into small pieces.)
  8. Cut the cucumber into long, thin sticks (julienned).
  9. Then, add the surimi to a large bowl, then add in chopped scallions, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of Sriracha, and stir with a fork.
  10. Make the spicy mayo topping by stirring together 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of Sriracha in a small bowl, then transfer to a squeeze bottle for drizzling.
  11. To assemble the spicy sushi rolls, first wrap a bamboo sushi mat in plastic wrap.
  12. Slice a sheet of nori in half, and place one half-sheet, shiny side down, on top of mat.
  13. Fill a small bowl with water to keep nearby.
  14. With the nori sheet in front of you horizontally, press ½ to ¾ cup of rice evenly over the nori, leaving about ½ inch of empty space on the top edge. Use the bowl of water to dampen your fingers periodically so that the rice does not stick to your fingers.
  15. Sprinkle rice with toasted sesame seeds and black sesame seeds, then carefully flip over the rice-covered nori sheet, so that the rice is on the bottom.
  16. Add the spicy crab salad in a horizontal line about ½ an inch from the bottom edge.
  17. Add a couple of cucumber sticks next to the crab salad.
  18. Use the mat to help you roll up the sushi, tucking the filling in gently with your fingers as you begin to roll. Continue to roll, using the mat to press evenly but firmly, until you have a tight cylinder.
  19. Place the roll on a cutting board seam-side down, and use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces.
  20. To serve, drizzle with spicy mayo topping.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 229
Total Fat 6.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 15.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 0.4 g
Sodium 246.2 mg
Protein 9.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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