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Course: main course
Total time: under 2 hours
Skill level: Challenging
Cost: Splurge
Yield: Makes 4 thick rolls
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Thick rolls are ideal for your lunch. In this roll, pleasantly bitter arugula leaves, mild spicy daikon sprouts, richly flavored eel, good-quality crabmeat, and avocado create a sensational color, flavor, and texture experience. Put this in your lunch bag and enjoy an amazing midday treat.


  • 1 package unagi no kabayaki (prepared eel) (½ pound) (for heating instructions, see below) or cured fish such as gravlax or smoked salmon (choose a less salty variety)
  • 3 tablespoons tsume (quick rich brown shoyu sauce) or Sriracha mayonnaise sauce
  • 2/3 package kaiware (daikon sprouts) (2 ounces) or other seed sprouts
  • Sixteen ½-inch-square, 4-inch-long cucumber sticks (for cutting instructions, see below)
  • 1½ cups good-quality canned crab meat or cooked crab meat (7 ounces)
  • 16 avocado sticks from 1 ripe but firm avocado (for cutting instructions, see below)
  • 2 cups arugula or baby salad green leaves (about 2 ounces)
  • 6 cups (lightly packed) prepared sushi rice (1½ cups, 9.5 ounces, per roll)
  • 4 whole sheets nori (laver); choose the thick variety


Remove the reheated eel from its package and cut it into three pieces crosswise, each about 4 inches long. Cut the head end and the middle pieces into 6 long strips lengthwise and cut the narrower tail section into 4 long strips, to make 16 strips.

Line up all the filling ingredients—tsume, eel, daikon sprouts, cucumber, crabmeat, avocado, and arugula—on a tray. Now follow the instructions in the Master Recipe (My Mother's Classic Thick Roll)

Additional Instructions:

1. When you are using tsume in the roll, smear 1½ to 2 teaspoons across the center of each roll.

2. Spread one-quarter of the fillings in the following order: eel, daikon sprouts, arugula, crabmeat, cucumber, and avocado.

3. You can prepare this roll half a day in advance.

4. Serve with or without an additional sauce.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

218kcal (11%)
621mg (26%)
11g (17%)
2g (9%)
57mg (19%)
49mcg RAE (2%)
16mg (26%)
106mg (11%)
2mg (10%)