Sushi comes in many different forms, but perhaps the type that most often comes to mind for westerners is the sushi roll. Also known as maki, sushi rolls consist of rolled rice and nori (seaweed) filled and/or topped with layers of fish, veggies, sauce, and anything else the chef wants to add.
Sushi rolls come in all kinds of variations and can vary based on what restaurant you go to and where you live. However, there are certain rolls you can find at pretty much any sushi joint. We ranked the most common rolls you see at sushi restaurants based on how tasty we think they are.
Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, I’m not sure why you would go out to a sushi restaurant just to order a cucumber roll. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s probably the least exciting thing on the menu. However, one 6-8 piece cucumber roll only has 136 calories, so it could be a good choice if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal.
Ingredients: salmon, avocado, cream cheese
When you think of cream cheese, you probably think of Philadelphia, which is how this sushi roll got its name. The Philadelphia roll is very divisive. Some people really love cream cheese with their sushi, and others, like myself, can’t stand it.
Ingredients: smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, asparagus
The Alaska roll is a good introduction for those who are new to raw fish. All in all, it’s a solid roll, but it’s does contain asparagus, which may be off putting for some.
Ingredients: Yellowtail, Shrimp tempura, Bean sprouts, Carrots, Avocado, Cucumber, Chili, Spicy mayo
Dynamite rolls have a lot going on, which can be either a good or a bad thing. Personally, I could do without the bean sprouts or carrots, but some people really like them. However, star of the show for this roll isn’t the yellowtail, shrimp tempura or the vegetables, but it is the spicy mayo. The mayo is baked giving it a nice, creamy flavor similar to melted cheese.
Ingredients: avocado, shrimp tempura, cucumber, eel sauce
If you’ve never heard of the tiger roll, you may know this roll as the shrimp tempura roll. Shrimp tempura is generally a crowd pleaser, so if you’re new to eating sushi, this could be a good introductory roll before you dive into eating raw fish and more elaborate rolls.
Ingredients: eel, crab sticks, avocado, cucumber
Sometimes called a caterpillar or green dragon, this roll is topped with eel which can be intimidating to new sushi lovers. Personally, it took me a while to feel comfortable eating eel, but once I tried it, I really liked it! Eel is also super healthy because it’s rich in iron and other vitamins.
Ingredients: cucumber, crab/intimation crab, and avocado
The California roll is a bonafide classic and probably one of the most well known sushi rolls in the west. It’s made with crab meat, so it’s totally safe to eat if you’re worrying about raw fish. A California roll can be made with either real crab meat or imitation crab. Obviously, the rolls with real crab meat will taste better, but they will also be a little more expensive.
Ingredients: crab, avocado, cucumber, tuna, salmon, shrimp, yellowtail
Have you ever eaten a California roll and thought, “how can I make this better?” Well, that’s how we got the rainbow roll. Take a California roll and top it with raw tuna, salmon, shrimp, and yellowtail. The end result is a beautiful roll that tastes just as a good as it looks.
2. Spicy Tuna
Ingredients: tuna, spicy mayo
Sushi rolls don’t have to be complicated to be good. Containing just tuna, spicy mayo, rice, and nori, this roll is one of the most simple items on this list. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed when eating a spicy tuna roll – the flavor speaks for itself.
1. Spider Roll
Ingredients: tempura soft-shell crab, avocado, cucumber, and spicy mayo
I HATE spiders, but I LOVE spider rolls. The combination of the fried soft-shell crab, spicy mayo, cucumber, and avocado is absolutely delicious. Plus the crunch of the crab gives a really satisfying texture.