Spicy Crab Roll Recipe

If you’re a fan of sushi, the likelihood is that you have already tasted spicy crab rolls. However, if you haven’t then you are missing out on such a tasty meal.

Spicy crab rolls are arguably one of the best types of sushi. They are the perfect balance of flavors, with a hint of spice. While it can easily be purchased in Japanese takeout stores, it is fairly easy to recreate at home.

In this article, we will be chatting you through how you can make this delicious sushi dish in just a few steps. You will be surprised by just how easy it is to recreate!

What is a Spicy Crab Roll?

Spicy crab roll is one of the most popular Japanese sushi dishes. What is great about this dish is that it is the perfect combination of flavors. As it is covered with a spicy mayonnaise, it does pack a slight punch. 

The crab roll typically features imitation crab, which is covered with hot sriracha mayonnaise. 

The mixture is then wrapped in seaweed and covered with rice. It is then cut into smaller pieces and has the spicy mayo drizzled over the top of it. 

It is such a delicious meal that only takes up to 20 minutes to cook and prepare, making it a great meal option. 


Before we talk you through the cooking process, you will want to ensure that you have all of these ingredients available.

While these ingredients will provide you with the best tasting spicy crab rolls, some of them can be substituted if needed. 

  • 4 oz Imitation crab (Krab sticks) - You can choose to use canned crab meat, if you prefer, but Krab sticks are the best option. 
  • 1 cup of water - To boil the rice in
  • 1 cup Sushi rice - When choosing the rice, you will want to ensure that you are using sushi rice that is of a good quality as this will affect the sushi. You don’t want to use regular rice. 
  • A few Nori seaweed sheets - This is the best type of seaweed to choose for sushi as it will hold the meat well and rolls easily. 
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce - This ingredient is important because it provides the spice. However, you can choose to use other types of hot sauce if you prefer. 
  • 4 teaspoons Mayonnaise - The mayonnaise provides a creamy texture to the crab rolls. It is the best option to use, but if it is too calorific for you, you can opt to use yogurt instead. 
  • 1 tbsp Sushi Vinegar - This is important as it will help to season the rice. Without sushi vinegar it will taste rather bland. 
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds - Sesame seeds are used to cover the spicy crab rolls. While you do not need to use them, they help to provide extra flavor, and they are a great addition. 

These are the best ingredients to use. However, there are options to use substitutes if you need to. 


In addition to the ingredients you will be using, you will want to ensure you have all the equipment and utensils needed to make sushi, especially if you have never made it before. 

  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Scissors 
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon
  • Saran wrap
  • Knife
  • Pan
  • Plate 
  • Chopsticks

The majority of these you will already own. If you do not already own a sushi mat, you will need to purchase one as they are essential. Without a bamboo sushi mat, you will not be able to roll up the sushi correctly.


Once you have everything you need, it’s time to start making the spicy crab rolls. If you follow our method carefully, you will create foolproof and tasty sushi.

Step One - Cooking The Rice

To begin with, you will want to cook the sushi rice. This is fairly simple to do. However, if this is your first time cooking sushi rice, it’s important to note that you need to use less water than you usually would. A 1:1 ratio is perfect. 

Place the lid on your pan and allow the rice to cook for around 12 minutes. When ready, the rice should have absorbed all the water. Transfer the cooked rice into a large bowl and allow it to cool.

Step Two - Adding The Rice Vinegar

As the rice is cooling in the bowl, you will want to add in the rice vinegar.

Step Three - Making The Crab Roll Filling

To make the crab filling, you will want to add the imitation crab to a bowl and evenly shred it into pieces. Then add in your mayonnaise. Stir the mixture well until it is evenly spread. Next add in the sriracha sauce, and mix. 

Step Four - Making The Crab Roll

Once the rice has cooled down, you will want to cut up the nori sheets in half. Place the saran wrap over the bamboo mat, and then place the nori sheet on top of this. The nori sheet should have the shiny side facing toward the mat.

Next take ¾ of a cup of the sushi rice and place this over the seaweed. It should be spread out equally to the edges. After this, you will want to take the sesame seeds, and sprinkle these across the rice.

Use the bamboo mat to roll the sushi upside down, with the shiny side of the nori facing upward. Then place the imitation crab mix into the center of the nori.

It should be placed down the whole of the sheet, but ensure that you keep it away from the edges of the sushi to allow you to wrap it correctly. 

Step Five - Rolling the Sushi

Once all the ingredients have been added, you will then want to use the bamboo sheet to press the ingredients together. Then roll the mat away from you to create the sushi shape.

You will want to roll it completely so that both sides of the mat touch. 

You will want to do this with a good amount of pressure to ensure that the roll is created and is secure.

Step Six - Cutting The Sushi

Once rolled, you can then cut up the sushi into smaller pieces, pop onto a plate, drizzle with some more spicy sauce, and then it is ready to serve!

Useful Tips to Follow

  • Spice levels - When creating spicy crab rolls, you can make them as spicy or as mild as you prefer. To do this, you will just want to adjust the amount of sriracha sauce you use, to match your own personal preferences.
  • Tezu Water - If the rice is sticking to your fingers, you can use Tezu water to help prevent this. It is particularly useful.


We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, spicy crab rolls are super easy to make. While it does take a little while to get used to using the bamboo mat, once you have mastered this, you will be able to make sushi in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Spicy Crab Roll Contain Any Raw Meat?

While some sushi does contain raw meat, all the imitation crab meat used in spicy crab rolls have already been cooked, and are not raw.

How Many Calories Do Spicy Crab Rolls Contain?

The amount of calories spicy crab rolls contain will vary depending on the recipe you follow. However, typically they contain around 190 calories per roll, and 5 grams of fat. They are a fairly healthy option. 

Why does sushi use fake crab?

Imitation crab is typically used as it can be easier to obtain, especially if certain foods are seasonal. However, some more expensive sushi restaurants will use real crab.

Typically, you will be noted of the differences, and often imitation crab is referred to as surimi.