DIY California and Vegetable Rolls

DIY California and Vegetable Rolls

California rollsMy kids and I love (cooked) sushi. Although my 14 YO will eat pretty much any kind of sushi, even the raw stuff, I just can’t get over the raw fish factor so I stick to “safe” things like California Rolls, Caterpillar rolls (my favorite), vegetable rolls and anything with tempura. NEWS FLASH…. I like seared tuna! Had the opportunity to taste some at Bonefish Grill and my friends FORCED me to try it. I’m so glad I did! Now back to your regularly scheduled recipe.

With a family of seven, we just can’t afford to go out and get sushi as often as we would like. It’s too expensive! A friend suggested since I love to cook, I should start making my own. Truthfully, it never even crossed my mind!

Sushi KitSo for the past few months I’ve been eyeing sushi-making kids on  After doing extensive research on all of the different kits, options, and recommendations, I ended up ordering this Sushi Rolling Kit, it had great reviews, simple instructions and didn’t include a lot of things I didn’t need or want cluttering up my already gadget-heavy kitchen.

noriI also did a lot of research on Nori before finally purchasing Sushi Nori Premium Roasted Organic Seaweed by One Organic.

I wasn’t disappointed with either item.

The only other item I would highly recommend is a very sharp knife. I ended up purchasing the non-stick Sushi Chef’s Knife by As Seen on TV. It was very sharp and made easy work of cutting the rolls perfectly. (PS I was not given these items to review. I purchased them on my own and recommend them because I like the products.)

We made three kinds of sushi: California Rolls, Cucumber Rolls, and Vegetable Rolls.

All three were a huge hit, easy to make and were gobbled up so quickly I’m surprised someone didn’t lose a finger.

DIY California & Vegetable Rolls

Tasty Tuesday – Sushi


California Rolls

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 firm-ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice
  • 4 sheets Sushi Nori Premium Roasted Organi Seaweed
  • sushi rice, recipe follows
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
  • Soy sauce, for serving


  1. Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap.
  2. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise.
  3. Place one sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat.
  4. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori.
  5. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.
  6. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down, facing the plastic wrap.
  7. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center of the sheet.
  8. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder.
  9. Pull away the mat and set roll aside on a plate.
  10. Cover with a damp paper towel.
  11. Repeat until ingredients are used.
  12. Cut each roll into 6-8 pieces.



Sushi Rice Vegetable Sushi Rolls

  • Author: Kate Kelly - My Mommy Brain
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 2 cups sushi or short grain rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 firm-ripe avocado, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise, sprinkled with lemon juice
  • 4 sheets toasted Nori
  • sushi rice


  1. Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water.
  2. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.
  3. Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium pan and place over high heat.
  4. Bring to a boil, uncovered.
  5. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  8. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds.
  9. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture.
  10. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture.
  11. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.
  12. Place 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat.
  13. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori leaving with 1 1/2-inches uncovered at the far edge. Line up the fillings about 1-inch from the closest near edge, evenly across the rice. Leave 1-inch of rice uncovered at the far edge.
  14. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, carrot, and avocado in the center of the sheet.
  15. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder.
  16. Open the mat, dab unsealed edge of nori with a bit of water and roll the sushi forward to seal.
  17. Transfer to a plate and cover with damp paper towels.
  18. Repeat with remaining rice and ingredients.
  19. Cut each roll into 8 pieces with a sharp, wet knife.


Comments 6

  1. I'm willing to try it… but the time factor stresses me? How long did it really take to make enough for your whole family?

    1. Post

      Truthfully, the thing that took the longest was preparing the rice. I cut up the veggies while the rice cooled and got everything ready to go so I just had to grab each ingredient as needed. When I made the first California roll, it took about 5-10 minutes to do as I was watching a tutorial on YouTube on how to roll everything together. I wasn't sure how to place the Nori and rice on the mat, plus I was using too many ingredients in the middle and had to unroll it and take some out. After a couple of rolls, I had it down to about 3 minutes total. That includes the time it took to chase the kids out of the kitchen because they were eating the avocado and cucumbers! We've made sushi a few times now and it just gets easier. The kids love to make their own veggie rolls own and would eat them all day long if I'd let them.

  2. Yay! I have never made sushi, only had a few different rolls that don't have shellfish in them, darn allergies!! These look great though and not falling apart either. Cool to hear about the organic purchases you made too.

    1. Post

      Tiffany, it was so easy. The “hardest” part was rolling the first California roll because you do the rice first then you flip over the nori and do the veggie side. We love making the rolls and my kids love customizing them however they want!

  3. Pingback: What's for dinner? (Menu 4) - It's me, debcb!

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