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Spicy Crab Sushi Roll

I have made this spicy crab sushi roll recipe so many times at home that I know all the tricks to make the process easier and get delicious results.

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Spicy crab sushi roll

Sushi has become one of the most popular dishes around the world! Actually, more and more fans of Japanese food are enjoying this delicacy on a daily basis – after daring to try it for the first time, of course.

This delicious treat combines the best textures and experiences – it’s creamy, flavorful, satisfying, crunchy at times, and spicy if you’re a bit riskier.

Today, you’re going to learn how to prepare one of the variations I love the most: the Spicy Crab Roll. It has the classic ingredients that you can find in this dish, including sushi rice and nori seaweed sheets. However, there’s a little twist that makes this treat a bit exotic but an unforgettable delicacy.

The Kani crab stick you use in this recipe is shredded, but instead of traditional seasonings, you have to add Sriracha spicy mayo! It’s just amazing!

I know that preparing sushi can be a bit complicated the first few times, but come on! No one will make a perfect sushi roll the first time. Therefore, in addition to this spicy crab roll recipe, I’ll share some tips to help you get the best results. Let’s get started!

Seaweed on plate

Spicy Crab Roll Ingredients

If you want to get the best results when preparing the roll, you have to make sure that you have the best ingredients. Is it your first time making this roll, spicy crab salad, or sushi in general? Don’t worry! I’ll give you the best tips!

Kani Crab Meat

Also known as kanikama or imitation crab meat, this is the ingredient used when preparing California rolls. However, if you can’t find it in the grocery store or Asian food market, you can replace it with canned crab meat, like my no filler crab cakes recipe.

Sriracha Sauce

This is the main ingredient of the Sriracha spicy mayo that will give the roll all the intense but rich flavor. The Sriracha sauce is made from chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Therefore, it’s what gives heat to the sushi. Looking for another crab dish with some heat? Try my Cajun crab boil recipe!

Remember that to enjoy this spicy crab roll, you should always consider our tastes and preferences when preparing it. If you want it to be less spicy, just reduce the amount of Sriracha sauce or add more for extra flavor.

If you can’t find Sriracha, you can use chili sauce or any other hot sauce as a replacement.

Sushi Rice

To prepare great sushi, you need high-quality sushi rice or at least a good alternative. I recommend using Japanese short-grain sushi rice for this recipe.


The spicy crab roll also needs some creaminess. That’s why you use mayonnaise. Again, if the ingredients are of high quality, you’ll get better results. Therefore, I recommend using real mayo instead of mayonnaise alternatives. Do you want a healthier option? You can also use plain Greek yogurt.

Nori (Seaweed Sheets)

Another essential ingredient of any type of sushi, including the spicy crab roll, is nori or seaweed sheet. If you use a fresh alternative, it will give the recipe a crispy and delicious touch.

Sushi Vinegar

Before starting to assemble the roll (you’ll talk about that later), you have to prepare and season the rice. This is where you use sushi vinegar. However, if you can’t find it, you can mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt together to create the perfect substitute.

Sesame Seeds

Finally, you have the sesame seeds. you can use white, black, or a combination of both. However, in either case, I recommend toasting them on a pan for at least five minutes to give the spicy crab roll an unforgettable nutty flavor!

Sesame seeds with spoon

Equipment to Make Spicy Crab Roll

In addition to the sushi rice, shredded crab meat, and other ingredients, you must also find the right tools to prepare the spicy crab roll. These are:

  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sharp knife
  • Bowls
  • Squeeze bottle

Preparing The Spicy Crab Roll: Step-by-Step Guide

Once you have all the ingredients and equipment. The next step is to start preparing everything you need.

How to Cook Sushi Rice

As mentioned, one of the main parts of the spicy crab roll is the sushi rice. Therefore, it’s the first thing you have to start making.


First, you need to find a high-quality variety of sushi rice. Then, you have to put it in a bowl and cover it with cold water. After that, you have to swirl it around using your fingers and drain the water.

It’s crucial to carry out this step at least three or four more times or until the water runs almost clear. Then, you should raise the sushi rice and pour it into a fine-meshed sieve. Although this step is optional, letting the sushi rice sit and drain for 30 minutes can give it a better texture.

Then, you have to add the sushi rice to a large saucepan with 1 ¾ of water and bring it to a boil. It’s also important to stir the rice and cover it. After that, you have to lower the heat to the lowest temperature possible and cook the rice for at least 20 minutes.

Before opening the lid, you must let the sushi rice rest for at least 10 minutes. Then, you must add the rice vinegar to the recipe and put the rice in a bowl or shallow pan to stir it until it stops steaming.

If you don’t plan to use the sushi rice immediately, you can cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours. you need sticky sushi rice, so don’t worry if the texture seems a bit odd the first time!

How to Prepare the Fillings for The Spicy Kani Roll (Sushi)

Now, start preparing the fillings that will give all the delicious flavor to the sushi rolls.

First, pull the imitation crab meat into shreds with your fingers. If the crab stick is still whole, you can press a sharp knife over it and start pulling apart the individual shreds.

You can also cut the imitation crab meat into small pieces. However, in this case, you have to cut the cucumber into julienne strips or long, thin sticks.

Once the imitation crab meat is ready, you have to put it in a large bowl and add the mayonnaise and two tablespoons of Sriracha sauce. In this step, you have to stir the mixture very well with a fork.

Cucumber and avocado roll

How to Prepare the Spicy Mayo Sauce

In the third stage of this recipe, you have to prepare the spicy mayo sauce. It’s so easy to make! You just have to mix two tablespoons of mayonnaise with one tablespoon of Sriracha in a small bowl.

Once the spicy mayo sauce is ready, you must transfer it to a squeeze bottle. It’s what you are going to use for drizzling the spicy crab roll later.

Tips to Make The Spicy Crab Roll in the Best Way

To get the spicy crab roll cooked in the best way and ready to give us a unique flavor experience, you also have to follow some tips, especially if this is the first time you prepare sushi rolls.

I’m not an expert, but I have made this spicy crab roll so many times at home that I know all the tricks to make the process easier and get delicious results.

  • Dip your hands in Tezu water to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands (you can make a hand dipping liquid with ¼ cup of water and two tablespoons of rice vinegar)
  • Keep your hands yout during the preparation of this spicy crab roll to make the process easier (it’ll also help you keep the rice off your hands)
  • If you want the spicy crab roll to remain intact and compact, squeeze the roll gently and firmly when rolling it. Then, place the bamboo mat over the roll and squeeze again!
  • Another trick to keep the spicy crab roll tightly packed is to wet the nori sheet a little using your wet fingers.
  • Don’t rush! To have a beautiful presentation and surprise your family with a beautiful and delicious spicy crab roll, you must take your time. Assemble it slowly!
  • You can also secure the cling wrap’s ends like a burrito to tighten the roll and obtain a more compact result (it will also help us clean the bamboo sushi rolling mat after preparing the spicy crab roll).
  • The spicy crab roll is best fresh, so you should try it the same day you cook it!


Although this spicy crab roll version is delicious, there are other variations you can enjoy!

A Less Spicy Sushi Roll with Cream Cheese

If you want to make something delicious for someone who doesn’t like spicy food, you can make a mild-flavored version. Instead of making the traditional spicy crab salad for the sushi roll, you can prepare different fillings with avocado or cream cheese.

You can also use seasoned rice vinegar when making the rice to give the non-spicy Kani roll a more intense flavor.

Changing up the Spicy Kani Salad a Bit

Also, sushi goes far beyond raw fish and crab. You can make a delicious sushi roll with cooked fatty fish like salmon or tuna.

Do you want the spicy crab roll but with a different touch? You can add crunchier Kani maki or deep-fried flour batter, also known as tenkasu, for extra flavor and texture.

A More Robust Bite of The Spicy Kani Roll

For those who enjoy more robust bites when it’s time to eat sushi, substituting the Kani sticks with a tempura-fried soft-shell crab is also a good option. It’s more difficult to cook, but the result is incredibly delicious.

When you make this sushi roll variation, the salty, oily dough combines perfectly with the juicy crab meat, creating an explosion of flavors everyone will love.

You can also make a sushi roll with spicy prawns, using tempura prawns and the spicy Sriracha mayo instead of the crab.

Avocado on table

Final Thoughts

Sushi rolls are not only made of raw fish. They can be very versatile and have as many fillings as you want.

From the spicy Kani salad to prawns with cream cheese, you only have to let your imagination run wild to create the most delicious sushi rolls!

Yield: 8 pieces

Spicy Crab Sushi Roll

Spicy Crab Sushi Roll

I have made this spicy crab sushi roll recipe so many times at home that I know all the tricks to make the process easier and get delicious results!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 c. Japanese short-grain rice
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 ½ tbsp. sushi rice vinegar
  • 2 pcs avocado, sliced ​​into strips
  • 1 pc cucumber, sliced ​​into strips
  • 2 nori seaweed sheets
  • 4 oz. crab Kani sticks, shredded or cut into half lengthwise (imitation or canned)
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (black or white)
  • 3 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 ⅓ tsp. Sriracha sauce


Spicy Kani Roll Filling

1. First, we have to pull our imitation crab meat into shreds with our fingers. If the crab stick is still whole, we can press a sharp knife over it and start pulling apart the individual shreds.

2. Once our imitation crab meat is ready, we have to put it in a large bowl and add the mayonnaise and two tablespoons of Sriracha sauce. In this step, we have to stir the mixture very well with a fork.

3. Cut the nori sheet in two halves using kitchen scissors (if the seaweed sheet is fresh, it should be crispy enough to cut by just folding it in half)

Spicy Mayo Sauce

1. Mix two tablespoons of mayonnaise with one tablespoon of Sriracha in a small bowl.

Creating the Spicy Kani Roll

1. Lay half of the nori sheet on the bamboo mat (the shiny side should be facing down).

2. Spread about ¾ sushi rice on the seaweed sheet evenly.

3. Press the rice gently using your hands (remember that sushi rice is sticky, so you can dip your hands in Tezu water to prevent it from sticking to your hands).

4. Once the rice is distributed evenly over the nori, spread the sesame seeds over the rice.

5. Flip the nori sheet carefully, leaving the sushi rice facing down.

6. Add the spicy imitation crab meat filling in the middle of the nori sheet. Place the strips of cucumber atop the filling.

7. Lift the edge of the bamboo mat up over the filling by putting your thumbs underneath it.

8. Roll the bamboo mat in the opposite direction from you

9. Press the rice and the spicy imitation crab meat filling together and keep rolling until the roll's ends meet. Place your avocado slices atop your roll.

10. Transfer the spicy crab roll to a cutting board and cut it into eight pieces.

11. Drizzle the delicious spicy mayo sauce on top of the sushi roll for a little extra heat and flavor.


    • If you do not have sushi rice vinegar you can also mix 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ tablespoon sugar as a substitute.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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