Homemade Recipe for Sushi: California Crunchy Roll 8pc

Use crab meat instead of shrimp tempura and still make a crunchy roll


Total: 50 - 60 minutes

Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes

Prep (Tempura Flakes): 10 - 15 minutes

Rolling: 5 minutes

I am active on Quora, answering many sushi related questions. As of this writing, I have over 700 answers. Some of the most read answers are relating to “What do you think of American Sushi?”

Crunchy roll is undeniably American. Personally, I believe it’s an American dish, not a Japanese dish. It is inside out roll which was supposedly invented in Los Angeles (there are a few stories). Coating the outside of a roll with tempura flakes and pouring eel sauce over it makes it nothing like a “authentic” sushi like Nigiri in Japan. Some goes as far to say Crunchy Roll is a sushi.

Whether Crunchy roll is sushi or not sushi, I do admit when I first tasted it, I liked it. The first one had tempura shrimp inside (recipe here) and tempura flakes outside. The double crunchiness was a nice departure from other special rolls like Rainbow, which has fish on top. We don’t normally think about it, but texture is great part of what we consider to be the “taste” of the food we eat: crunchy, smooth, mushy, runny are all example of texture.

Just like most of the inside out rolls, we don’t know who and when crunchy roll was invented. In fact, California Roll is just about the only role we know who invented, though, there are now at least three stories claiming different chef invented the California Roll.

Regardless, I say adding tempura flakes to any of your inside out roll makes it taste nice. I highly encourage you to experiment.

INGREDIENTS (for one roll):

  • 200g (1 cup) Sushi Rice (follow this recipe)

  • 1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet

  • 5 - 7g (1/4 oz) Sesame Seeds, Roasted (white or black)

  • 30 g crabmeat or imitation crabmeat (sticks or flakes)

  • 2pcs ¼ Avocado slices

  • 50g Flour

  • 200 ml. (1cup) Rice Bran Oil (or vegetable oil)

  • Eel or Teriyaki Sauce (follow this recipe)


  • Cutting Board

  • Knife

  • Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat

  • Pot

  • Small Sheet Pans

  • Paper Towel

  • Tempura (or Mesh) strainer

  • Chopsticks (or spoon)


Making Tempura Flakes

  1. To make Tempura Batter, mix Flours with equal amount of water.

  2. Heat the frying oil to 190C/375F. You can check this by dropping some tempura batter in the oil. If the batter hits the bottom, and rises to the surface immediately, the oil is ready.

  3. Using a pair of chopsticks (or small spoon, folk), drop tempura batter into the oil.

  4. Let it cook for 20 - 30 seconds until the color turns to light gold.

  5. Remove the flakes from the oil. Let is sit on paper towel to remove excess oil.

Making Inside Out California Roll

(How to spread rice for Inside Out Rolls, Step 2 - 12)