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Rainbow Roll Sushi

Made with succulent salmon, tuna, avocado, and cucumber, this mouthwatering Rainbow Roll is simple, scrumptious, and easy to create in your own kitchen!

A bite of sushi held in a pair of chopsticks. A small plate of sushi and a container of soy sauce is in the background.

Restaurant-Style Sushi, Made Easy!

Sushi is one of my favorite meals to get out on the town. There are so many amazing kinds of sushi out there to try, and sushi itself is always a fresh, fun option. But, if you’re in the mood for your favorite roll, you don’t necessarily have to order out or get delivery – you can easily make great sushi at home with just a little time and a few basic ingredients.

Now, I’m not saying you can whip up just any gourmet roll in half an hour! Some of those recipes are definitely labor-intensive and require chef’s skills. But, what would you say to a rainbow roll? That’s right, this beloved sushi classic is simple to recreate in your own kitchen.

A narrow plate with five pieces of sushi lined up on it.

Is Rainbow Roll Sushi Raw?

Yes, rainbow rolls are usually made with raw tuna and salmon – although cooked versions do exist, this recipe stays with the traditional raw ingredients. And, you don’t have to be a sushi chef to make it – trust me!

From top: Sheets of nori, a bamboo sushi mat, sticks of imitation crab, sliced raw tuna, an avocado, sliced raw salmon, prepared sushi rice, and sliced cucumber.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

Although this sushi roll is beautiful and complex to look at, you only need a few ingredients to make it. Let’s take a closer look at the full list.

  • Sushi Rice: Before you start, make sure to have a few ounces of prepared sushi rice ready to go. You can make it from scratch, or use packaged sushi rice from the store.
  • Salmon and Tuna: A small amount of sushi-grade salmon and tuna, raw and fresh.
  • Avocado: Look for avocados that aren’t super soft. Avoid mushy or very hard avocados.
  • Nori: One standard nori wrapper (seaweed sheet).
  • Crab: Imitation crabmeat, also known as surimi, is perfect in this dish.
  • Cucumber: Nothing bears the fresh, cool crispness of cucumber in sushi. 
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: These add a crucial roasted nuttiness. 
Close-up shot of sushi topped with salmon, avocado, mayonnaise, and pickled ginger.

Can You Eat Raw Fish from the Grocery Store for Sushi?

In general, it’s not considered a good food-safety practice to consume any fish raw unless it’s been officially marked as safe for raw consumption. True sashimi and sushi grade fish has been frozen to a certain temperature for a certain length of time, in order to kill potential parasites – very important! A good rule of thumb is to only buy from reputable fishmongers, and only buy properly-marked frozen fish.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Assembling the roll is easy, and doesn’t have to be perfect to look absolutely mouthwatering. Here’s how to do it, step by step:

  1. Prepare the Base. The base of the roll is nori with sushi rice. First, lay a bamboo sushi mat on your clean food prep surface. Then lay a sheet of nori seaweed smooth side up, on the sushi mat. Finally, spread the rice evenly over the nori, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Turn over the nori sheet so that the rice is now on the bottom.
  2. Fill the Rainbow Roll. The crab and cucumber go inside the sushi roll, so lay those ingredients on the bottom third of the roll. Place your thumbs on the sides of the bamboo mat closest to you, and keep your fingers on the toppings to hold them in place. Roll up the sushi tightly.
  3. Top the Rainbow Roll. Now for the toppings! Prepare your tuna, salmon, and avocado by slicing them thinly. Arrange them on top of the sushi roll in a “rainbow.”
  4. Finish the Dish. Finally, use the bamboo mat to gently roll and squeeze the toppings onto the sushi roll. Then cut the sushi roll into 6 pieces, using a good sharp knife. You don’t want to bend or smush the roll with a dull knife.
  5. Enjoy! Serve the sushi pieces with Japanese mayonnaise, soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Tips for Success

If you’re new to making sushi, don’t let that intimidate you! These easy steps will help you make the most of this simple recipe. Happy sushi-rolling!

  • Wet Your Hands: Sushi rice can be sticky, so it’s a good practice to lightly wet your hands with water as you spread and roll this sushi. 
  • Add Mango: For a splash of additional color in your roll, try layering in some thin slices of fresh mango. 🥭
  • Give It Some Spice: For a scrumptious spicy twist, try mixing sriracha and mayonnaise to create a spicy drizzle.
A bite of sushi held in a pair of chopsticks. A small plate of sushi and a container of soy sauce is in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Sushi is great with all kinds of sides, and these easy recipes are some of the best. You’ll love the savory pan-Asian flavors in this list, and how simple they are to make at home.

  • Shrimp Tempura: Lightly battered and fried shrimp are a Japanese restaurant favorite. It’s easy to make your own Shrimp Tempura – but fair warning, they are totally addictive!
  • Spring Rolls: These Golden Veggie Spring Rolls are a family-pleasing side that’s light, crispy, and full of nutritious veggies.
  • Egg Drop Soup: Perfect as a starter or light side dish, Egg Drop Soup is good for you and incredibly simple. Make this comforting soup and see for yourself!
A bite of sushi held in a pair of chopsticks. A small plate of sushi and a container of soy sauce is in the background.

How to Store Leftover Sushi

  • If you don’t eat all of your rainbow roll right away, you can store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Make sure you wrap the pieces tightly, and get them in the fridge no more than an hour after making them, for food safety.
A bite of sushi set on a surface. A small plate of sushi and a container of soy sauce is in the background.

Can I Freeze This?

  • While it is possible to wrap sushi tightly and freeze it for a short time, I don’t recommend it – the rice tends to be dry and lose its texture after freezing and thawing, and the rolls won’t stay together as well. This dish is best enjoyed freshly made.

Rainbow Roll Sushi

Prepared with salmon, tuna, avocado, and cucumber, this delicious Rainbow Roll is simple, scrumptious, and easy to create in your own kitchen!
Prep Time25 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to make sushi, salmon sushi, tuna sushi
Servings: 2
Calories: 353kcal

Ingredients

For the Rainbow Rolls:

For Serving:

Instructions

  • On your work surface, lay a sheet of nori seaweed smooth side up, on a bamboo sushi mat.
  • Spread the rice evenly over the nori, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and then turn over the nori sheet so that the rice is now on the bottom.
  • Place the imitation crab meat lengthwise, along with the cucumber slices, toward the bottom third of the roll.
  • Place your thumbs on the sides of the bamboo mat closest to you, and your fingers on the toppings to hold them in place. Roll it up.
  • Prep your tuna, salmon, and avocado by slicing them thinly (0.1 inches). Arrange them on top of the sushi roll.
  • Using the bamboo mat, gently roll the toppings onto the sushi roll.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the sushi roll into 6 pieces.
  • Arrange the sushi pieces on a serving plate with a very small amount of Japanese mayonnaise.
  • Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 1020mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg

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