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!

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crunchy roll sushi

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

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 1/2 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

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!

Refer: Easy Chickpea Curry | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

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

how to make crunchy roll sushi

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 03


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

More Japanese-inspired recipes to try

Kani Salad

Mochi Donuts

Refer: No Lump Mashed Potatoes | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Japanese dressing

Dorayaki pancakes

Japanese cheesecake


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!


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