Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (2024)

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Crunchy roll sushi is an incredibly delicious variation of California sushi roll. It is loaded with shrimp tempura, avocado and has a crispy panko topping which is out of this world! Easy to make yet very delicious!

If you like crunchy rolls, be sure to check our Shrimp tempura roll and Godzilla roll. They can seriously rival with sushi rolls from your favorite Japanese restaurants!

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (1)

What is crunchy roll sushi

This crunchy roll sushi is a variation of popular California roll. It is a kind of maki roll or makizushi in Japanese. When you think about sushi, you most probably think of maki roll. It is made with fish or shrimp, vegetables and sushi rice, all rolled up in a nori (seaweed) sheet.

This crunchy California roll is made with shrimp tempura and creamy avocado, then rolled in nori and topped with super crunchy toasted panko breadcrumbs. It is a very straightforward sushi roll yet very tasty and super crunchy. Who can resist crunchy roll? I can't!

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (2)

What’s in crunchy roll sushi

Let’s have a look at what you need to make this delicious roll.

  • Sushi Rice: It is one of the key ingredients. If you want your sushi to taste and have texture like the sushi from your favourite Japanese restaurant, use high quality short-grain sushi rice and cook it the right way. I like Saitaku, Blue dragon and Tamanishiki Super Premium short grain rice. You can buy it in Asian section of your local supermarket or order online.
  • Rice Vinegar: Any rice vinegar will work well. I like to add ½ teaspoon of sugar to make homemade sushi vinegar.
  • Shrimp tempura: You can use pre-cooked shrimp tempura or make it at home. Imitation crab sticks (kani) will work well too.
  • Avocado: Be sure to use ripe avocado that is firm enough and won’t get mushy. Alternatively, you can substitute avocado for cucumber.
  • Nori: You can find nori sheets in the Asian aisle of your supermarket or purchase online.
  • Panko bread crumbs: I don’t recommend to use regular breadcrumbs. You won’t achieve that crunchiness.
  • Olive oil: Any vegetable oil will work well. I tried to fry the bread crumbs in butter, they added an amazing buttery flavor. So use whatever you have on hand.
Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (3)

How to make crunchy roll sushi

Let’s make it at home for a fraction of the cost and impress our loved ones!

  1. Make sushi rice- Rinse and cook rice according to the package instructions. The amount of water may vary, depending on the brand. I usually cook sushi rice on the stove or in my Instant pot. If you have rice cooker, use it to get the perfectly cooked rice. When it is cooked, add rice vinegar (combined with sugar) and mix. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Cook shrimp tempura-If using pre-cooked shrimp, preheat your oven to 450F|235C. Bake shrimp for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Make panko topping-Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add panko bread crumbs and cook until golden brown, stirring continuously. Transfer to a plate to stop cooking. Allow to cool down.
  4. Assemble sushi- Cover the bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking to it. Place half of the nori sheet on the mat, shiny side facing down. Spread about ¾ cup of sushi rice over the nori evenly. Flip it over. Place shrimp tempura and avocado slices on the nori. Roll it up tightly.
  5. Roll in panko breadcrumbs-Roll each sushi roll in the toasted breadcrumbs.Slice crunchy roll sushi and enjoy!

I love to serve it with soy sauce, spicy mayo, yum yum sauce and a side of kani salad.

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (4)

Crunchy sushi roll topping

It is hard to find a person who doesn’t like crunchy roll. This crunchy topping sets this California sushi roll apart from other maki rolls. They add a fantastic texture. Simply toast Japanese panko bread crumbs over medium heat until crispy and golden brown; allow to cool completely before using for sushi rolls. I usually cover bamboo mat with plastic, spread the breadcrumbs over it and roll each sushi roll in them.

The Best Crunchy California Roll (Tips)

  1. Rinse rice. Don’t skip this step! Use a fine-mesh strainer, rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Keep a bowl filled with water or Tezu water (water +vinegar) when working with rice. This helps to prevent rice from sticking to hands.
  3. Allow panko bread crumbs to cool down before adding to crunchy sushi roll.
Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (5)


Boston Roll: It is also a maki roll made with poached shrimp, avocado and cucumber, topped with masago or tobiko. You can substitute masago with toasted panko crumbs.

Shrimp tempura roll: It contains crispy shrimp tempura, imitation crab sticks, avocado and cream cheese. You don’t need to cut nori sheets in half when making this roll.

Spicy roll: You can make spicy California roll by adding spicy mayo to the filling. Spread it on shrimp tempura or imitation crab sticks.

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (6)

More Japanese-inspired recipes to try

Kani Salad

Mochi Donuts

Japanese dressing

Dorayaki pancakes

Japanese cheesecake

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (7)

If you make this crunchy roll sushi be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating! I will be happy to hear from you!


Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (8)

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe

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  • Author: chefjar
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4
Print Recipe


Crunchy roll sushi is an incredibly delicious variation of California sushi roll. It is loaded with shrimp tempura, avocado and has a crispy panko topping which is out of this world! Easy to make yet very delicious!


For the Sushi Rice:

  • Sushi rice- 1 ½ cup
  • Water-1 ½ cup
  • Rice vinegar-2 tablespoons, optional
  • Sugar-½ teaspoon

For the Shrimp Tempura California Roll:

  • Pre-cooked shrimp tempura or imitation crab- 8
  • Avocado ( ripe but still firm, sliced)-1
  • Nori sheets ( cut in half to make 4)-2

For the Crunchy Topping:

  • Panko breadcrumbs-1 cup
  • Olive oil- 2-3 tablespoons

For Serving:

  • Spicy Mayo
  • Soy sauce
  • Yum Yum sauce
  • Kani salad


Sushi Rice

  • Cook sushi rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, add rice vinegar(mixed with sugar) and allow to cool down slightly.

Shrimp tempura

  • Preheat your oven to 450F|235C. Bake the frozen pre-cooked shrimp tempura for 10-15 minutes (depends on the size of the shrimp). Keep aside.

Crunchy topping

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the panko bread crumbs and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden, stirring constantly. Allow to cool completely.

California Sushi Rolls

  • Cover the bamboo mat with plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking.
  • Place the nori on the mat, shiny side down.
  • Spread about ¾ cup of cooked rice over the nori evenly. Keep a bowl filled with water to dip your hands when you are working with rice.
  • Flip it over so the rice is facing down.
  • Place 2 pieces of shrimp tempura and 2 slices of avocado on the nori. Roll it up tightly. Remove the plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets.
  • Place the panko bread crumbs on sushi mat, covered with plastic. Roll each sushi roll in the toasted breadcrumbs. Remove the plastic and slice sushi using a sharp knife.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Sushi recipes
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Calories: 70kcal
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 34mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

Keywords: crunchy roll sushi, sushi, california roll crunchy sushi

All rights reserved.CHEF JAR.All images and content are copyright protected. PLEASE do not use my images without my permission. If you want to share thisrecipe, PLEASE provide a link back to this post.

If you make this recipe, take a photo of your creation and hashtag it# CHEFJARon Facebook, Instagram,and Twitter!

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As a seasoned culinary expert with a passion for Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi, I find the article on Crunchy Roll Sushi both intriguing and comprehensive. Having honed my skills through years of hands-on experience and exploration of authentic Japanese ingredients, I can confidently delve into the nuances of each component mentioned in the recipe.

Firstly, let's address the foundation of any good sushi – the rice. The author rightly emphasizes the importance of using high-quality short-grain sushi rice, such as Saitaku, Blue Dragon, or Tamanishiki Super Premium. These brands are known for their distinct texture and taste, crucial for achieving an authentic sushi experience. The addition of rice vinegar, with a hint of sugar, further enhances the flavor and authenticity of the sushi rice.

Moving on to the star of the dish – the shrimp tempura. The article correctly suggests the option of using pre-cooked shrimp tempura or making it at home. This flexibility caters to both convenience and the desire for a freshly prepared, crispy tempura. Additionally, the inclusion of avocado, chosen at the right ripeness, complements the tempura, adding a creamy texture to the roll. The alternative suggestion of using cucumber showcases the adaptability of sushi recipes to personal preferences.

The use of nori (seaweed) is fundamental in sushi-making, and the article rightly directs readers to the Asian aisle of their local supermarket or online sources for obtaining nori sheets. The technique of rolling the sushi, with attention to the shiny side of the nori facing down, is a crucial detail that contributes to the aesthetics and structural integrity of the roll.

The pièce de résistance of the Crunchy Roll Sushi is undoubtedly the panko breadcrumb topping. The article emphasizes the importance of using Japanese panko breadcrumbs for achieving the desired level of crunchiness. The toasting process, detailed in the recipe, ensures a golden brown color and a satisfyingly crispy texture. The author's tip to cool the breadcrumbs before adding them to the roll showcases an understanding of how temperature affects texture in culinary creations.

Lastly, the article provides variations such as the Boston Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, and Spicy Roll, showcasing the versatility of sushi recipes. The inclusion of additional Japanese-inspired recipes at the end, from Kani Salad to Dorayaki pancakes, reflects a well-rounded knowledge of Japanese cuisine.

In conclusion, the Crunchy Roll Sushi recipe is not just a set of instructions; it's a guided journey into the art and science of crafting a delightful and authentic Japanese culinary experience. With attention to detail and a genuine passion for the craft, this recipe is a testament to the author's expertise in the realm of sushi-making.

Crunchy Roll Sushi Recipe (California Roll) - Chefjar (2024)


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