Make a Delicious Spicy Krab Roll in the Comfort of Your Home! This spicy kani roll is filled with kani lettuce and seasoned sushi rice. It contains many of the same ingredients as our beloved Sushi Bake.
Kani in sushi is inexpensive and contains no raw fish; perfect for those who avoid eating uncooked seafood. Here are 20+ more imitation crab recipes.
What is kani sushi
Kani, also known as kanikama, is imitation crabmeat made from surimi, minced white fish processed to taste and look like crabmeat. Anything called Kanikama Sushi, Kani Roll, or Krab Rolls are made with imitation crab meat versus real crab meat.
Check out our What is Kani guide for more information.
For the sushi rice you will need short grain sushi rice, unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar and salt.
To make the spicy crab roll recipe, you will need imitation crab, mayonnaise, sriracha, and nori sheets. Sesame seeds are an optional garnish.
How to make kani rolls
Making homemade sushi rolls recipes is easy once you get some practice. If you’re already a sushi pro, skip the graphics and go to the next section.
Make the sushi rice
You can cook the sushi rice on the stovetop or make a batch of our Sushi Rice Instant Pot.
Make the filling
While the rice is cooking, prepare the kani filling.
Build the role
Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat, followed by 1/2 cup sushi rice, sesame seeds, and the kani salad filling.
Roll the roll
Using two hands, roll the nori sheet tightly around the fillings. It should be firm enough so the roll won’t fall apart, but not too hard as the fillings will squeeze out the sides.
Cut the roll
Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 1 inch sushi pieces. Run the knife under cold water between cuts (without drying it).
This spicy crab roll recipe can stand on its own, no additional sauce needed. However, if you’re looking for an extra layer of flavor, drizzle it over a sushi sauce recipe.
Use fresh crab meat instead of imitation crab meat to make a crab roll. The texture changes because real crab meat and imitation crab sticks don’t have the same shape or firmness. Baked crab legs would be excellent here.
Rice paper sushi
Don’t you like Nori? Replace the nori sheets with rice paper or soy paper.
Spicy crab roll
Do you like things over-spicy? Double or triple the sriracha. It adds warmth without changing the overall flavor of the dish.
All side dishes are optional and depend on your taste: sesame seeds, avocado slices, togarashi or tobiko or masago.
How to shred the crab
There are several ways to prepare kani:
- Unroll the crab and use a knife to cut it into equal pieces (pictured above).
- Peel with your fingers like spiked cheese.
- Use two forks to “rip” the pieces apart (our least favorite option).
- Use Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie) for a fuller flavor. It makes a creamier dressing than using regular mayonnaise.
- Don’t like spicy sushi? Omit the sriracha all together.
- Wipe and wet the knife between cuts to keep the roll from sticking and breaking apart. Here is the sushi knife we use and recommend.
- Serve immediately after serving for the best freshness, texture and flavor.
There are a few sushi utensils that make sushi rolling MUCH easier. Here are our favorite gadgets:
bamboo mat – If you decide not to purchase a sushi mat, simply use plastic wrap to aid in the rolling process.
Sharp and wet knife – Be sure to wipe and wet the sharp knife between cuts to reduce rice sticking to the knife.
Spicy cucumber salad, pickled cucumbers, daikon radish go well with this dish, as does edamame.
Spicy tuna rolls
Not sure what the differences between sushi and sashimi are? Read our sushi vs sashimi guide!
Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Champagne, Citrus IPA or Sake
For more tips on pairing sushi and wine, check out our Best Wine With Sushi guide.
Sushi Rice (Stovetop or Instant Pot):
Instant pot: Check out the complete guide to making sushi rice in the Instant Pot.stovetop: Place the rice in a colander and place under cold running water until the water runs clear (about 2-3 minutes). Place rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and let it rest covered for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and carefully fold in the vinegar, sugar and salt.
Spicy Crab Roll:
While the rice is cooking, prepare the kani salad. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded kani, mayo, and sriracha and gently mix to combine.
If you have a sushi mat, wrap it in plastic before rolling or place it in a large Ziploc bag. If you don’t have a mat, no problem – just use plastic wrap.
Place a sheet of nori, rough side up, on the sushi mat. Wet your hands with cold water (it keeps the rice from sticking to your hands) and spread 1/2 cup sushi rice edge to edge. Be careful not to over-compact the rice or it will become mushy.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice.
For a rice-side roll, turn the nori over so the rice is facing down. For a rice-inside roll, have the rice face up. Inner rice rolls are recommended for beginners as they are easier to roll and seal.
Lay 1/2 of the kani salad on the side closest to you in a straight line.
Starting on the side closest to you, using a firm grip, roll the nori around the fillings. Carefully unroll the bamboo mat and set aside.
Use a very sharp knife to cut 1 inch pieces of sushi. Run the knife under cold water (without drying it) between cuts to prevent the rice from sticking to it.
Repeat steps 2-9 to make the second roll. Sushi is best served immediately.
Note 2 – Shred the Kani
You must shred the kani before building the scroll. Here are a few different ways to accomplish this, in order of our favorite methods:
- Roll out the shrimp and use a knife to cut them into equal pieces.
- Peel with your fingers like spiked cheese.
- Use two forks to “shred”.
Note 3 – Kewpie Mayo is recommended but not essential.
Note 4 – Start with 1 tsp and add more until your desired level of spice is reached.
Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 90G | Protein: 9G | Fat: 6G | Saturated Fatty Acids: 1G | Polyunsaturated fat: 3G | Monounsaturated fatty acids: 1G | Trans fats: 0.01G | Cholesterol: 8thmg | Sodium: 2109mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 3G | Sugar: 8thG | Vitamin A: 73ie | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg