Olive Magazine
California rolls

California rolls: step-by-step sushi guide

Published: March 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • plus cooling
  • A little effort
  • Makes 36 rolls

Make a healthy sushi snack with our easy step-by-step guide to California rolls. Perfect for entertaining friends and family and they look quite impressive too!


Learn how to make classic california rolls, then check out our maki sushi rolls, temaki sushi (hand rolls) and sushi sandwich.


  • 6 sheets nori
  • 1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, stoned and cut into strips
  • 6 crab sticks
  • 1/4 cucumber, halved lengthways cut into strips
  • to finish black sesame seeds
  • to serve pickled ginger
  • to serve wasabi
  • to serve soy sauce


  • 250g sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


  • STEP 1

    To make the rice, rinse it in several changes of water until the water becomes clear, then drain really well. Put the rice in a pan, add 250ml cold water and bring to the boil on a high heat. Cover tightly, then simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 15 minutes to allow it to steam.
    Meanwhile, put the rice vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then take off the heat and cool to room temperature. Put the still-hot rice in a very large shallow bowl and add ¼ of the rice seasoning. Fold in then repeat 3 times until all the seasoning is used up. You can help cool the rice down by fanning it for 5 minutes.

    Step 1: Making the rice filling
  • STEP 2

    To assemble, spread approximately 1/6 of the rice over ⅔ of a sheet of nori.

    Step 2: Spreading rice over a sheet of nori.
  • STEP 3

    Sit a sheet of clingfilm over a sushi rolling mat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    Step 3: sprinkling sesame seeds
  • STEP 4

    Flip the nori and rice onto the sesame seeds, rice-side down.

    Step 4: Flipping the nori and rice onto the sesame seeds
  • STEP 5

    Line up the avocado, crabstick and cucumber along the centre of the nori sheet.

    Step 5: Lining the avocado, crabstick and cucumber on the nori
  • STEP 6

    Use the mat to roll everything into a log – rolling towards the nori without any rice on it.

    Step 6: rolling the sushi tightly

    Step 6: rolling the sushi tightly

  • STEP 7

    Take off the clingfilm and trim the nori.

    Step 7: Take off the clingfilm and trim the nori
  • STEP 8

    Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 6 logs. Cut each log into 6.

    Step 9: cutting the log into 6 equal rolls

Watch our 20-second video for the easiest way to stone an avocado...


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