California Roll Sushi Burrito

If you don't live in a big city, your only chance at enjoying a sushi burrito is making one at home! Learn how to make this easy California roll sushi burrito. 

A few months ago when I went to Virginia/DC for my sister-in-law's bachelorette and to wrap up work on Joyful Eating with Alex and Anne, I had a not so top secret side mission - to get a sushi burrito.

I kept seeing my New York and DC friends posting pictures on instagram with both hands clutching an extra large sushi roll stuffed with all things delicious. Can you say food FOMO? Come on Columbia, can we get with the program and convert one of our million burger joints to a sushi burrito place?

As it got closer to my trip, I googled all the sushi burrito joints in and around DC and plotted them on a map to see if I would be nearby. Unfortunately, I wasn't, but I figured it was worth a special trip. But somehow, when I was there, time slipped away from me and I never had a chance to fulfill my sushi burrito fantasy.

So, I decided to make it at home, which turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. Thanks to this handy video from my friend Lisa at Healthy Nibbles and Bits, I got my wrapping skill down pat. Rather than rehash the details and tips, I'll just point you over there!

For filling, I turned to the classic California roll for inspiration. I found canned crab clawmeat at Trader Joe's, which tasted not quite as good as fresh, steamed crab, but mixed with a little mayo and stuffed into a sushi burrito, I couldn't taste the difference. Just don't use imitation crab, which isn't actually crab but rather a processed stick of starch and random bits of white fish. Blech.

California Roll Sushi Burrito

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 sheets of nori seaweed
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Optional, for serving: wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger

Instructions

  1. Place rice in a colander and rinse under cold water, shaking rice from side to side until water runs clear. Place rice in a pot with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 40-50 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Uncover and let rice cool 15 minutes. Whisk together vinegar and sugar, drizzle over rice and stir to combine.
  2. While rice is cooking, mix together crab meat, mayo and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Place seaweed shiner side down on the counter or on a bamboo sushi mat. Scoop a quarter of the cooked and seasoned rice over the top. Using wet fingers (keep a bowl of water nearby for dipping your fingers), spread the rice evenly over the top. About 1 inch away from the end of the roll, scoop a quarter of the crab filling. Next to it, lay a few sticks of cucumber, then a line of shredded carrot, a few slices of red pepper, a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle sliced scallion over the top of the fillings.
  4. Check out this video for rolling technique. If you have foil, wrap it up in foil to prevent filling from falling out the bottom (not biggie if you don't!). Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi, if desired.

Edamame Nori Rolls with Tahini Dipping Sauce

Edamame nori rolls with tahini dipping sauce are an easy and nutritious alternative to sushi. Perfect for lunch paired with a salad or as a snack!

As we established in my very first recipe post (besides my lack of camera skills), I lack the hand-eye coordination to make homemade sushi. Early on in my cooking career, I decided I was going to become a sushi master so I could enjoy my favorite food on a regular basis. Then I actually attempted to make sushi. It's a lot harder than it looks! After creating a few overstuffed, buritto-like sushi rolls and watching an episode of Antony Bourdain in Japan where they showed the amount of training goes into making sushi, I decided to leave it to the experts.

Until now, my one way of getting "homemade" sushi has been through my various renditions of sushi un-rolls, essentially a grain bowl topped with my favorite sushi fillings. But recently I discovered nori rolls, another way to faux sushi. Nori rolls eliminate the difficult to perfect sushi rice and replaces it with a vegetable based spread. The spread holds everything hold together and makes it more nutritious by eliminating the white rice and sugary dressing.

Despite being raw and vegan, this roll is super filling, with protein from the edamame and healthy fats in the dressing. We enjoyed a few rolls along with arugula drizzled with the extra dipping sauce and it lasted well into snack time, but you could also have a roll or two a snack. To save time, swap out the dressing for premade edamame hummus (I love the one by Eat Well Embrace Life) or guac.

This is also an easy way to sneak in sea vegetables, a nutritious food we don't often eat outside of the occasional sushi roll. Sea vegetables, like nori, are a rich source of unique nutrients because it grows in the sea rather than on land. It's the best food source of iodine, a critical nutrient for thyroid health. Sea vegetables are also a rich source of sulfated polysaccharides, a starch compound with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and an ability to help thin blood.

Have fun playing with this recipe and filling nori with your favorite sushi or sandwich ingredients. Some other ideas:

Cucumber + avocado + smoked salmon

Cucumber + mango + red pepper + guacamole

Cashew mayo + tempeh bacon + tomato + lettuce

Smoky tempeh quinoa salad + lettuce

Mashed sweet potatoes + guacamole + spinach + tomato + red onion + feta

Edamame Nori Rolls with Tahini Dipping Sauce

Serves:

Serves 4 as a main

To save time, swap premade edamame hummus for the homemade edamame spread.

Ingredients

Edamame Spread:

  • 12 ounces frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tahini Dipping Sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons water

Nori Roll:

  • 8 nori sheets
  • 4 radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup kimchi or fermented kraut (optional)
  • A few handfuls of arugula, microgreens or pea shoots

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for the edamame spread together in a food processor. Blend until pureed, scraping down sides as needed. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the tahini dipping sauce and season with salt as needed.
  3. Spread each nori roll with edamame spread, covering one side entirely with layer of edamame spread. Place radishes, carrot, cucumber, kimchi or kraut and a few small handfuls of arugula in a line on one side of the wrap. Roll up tightly, like sushi. Using a sharp knife, cut in half on the diagonal or into small sushi rolls.
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