Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (2023)

Although this roll is funanddelicious, please check out our othereasy sushi recipesfor beginners here or visit ourentire library of sushi rolls sorted alphabetically!

What you need to know before ordering a Rainbow Roll…

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (1)

Rainbow rolls are typically made of raw tuna, raw salmon, and imitation crab, with cucumber and avocado as the vegetables. The tuna, salmon, and avocado are layered on the top of the roll to give it a “rainbow” appearance. This roll contains raw fish, however below you will find options to make this roll fully cooked. Below you will find FAQ, ingredients lists, and an easy at home recipe!

Main Ingredients

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Imitation Crab

SAUCES

  • Spicy Mayo Sauce (Optional)

VEGGIES & FILLING

  • Creamy Avocado
  • Crunchy Cucumber

Dipping Sauces

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The rainbow roll is the ultimate roll for sushi lovers that can’t decide if they like tuna or salmon better! Each bite is different and is bursting with protein. Rainbow roll ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores.

Do not be intimidated by this roll! Although I wouldn’t say this roll is the easiest to make, the time is very much worth it. In all honesty, the hardest part is making the rice (which is super easy anyways). Just don’t forget to wet your hands!

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (2)

Click here to visit our sushi roll library!

What is a rainbow roll?

A rainbow roll is an inside-out sushi roll (meaning the rice is on the outside) that is typically made with imitation crab, raw tuna, and raw salmon. Rainbow roll ingredients also include cucumber and avocado as a veggie. To make the rainbow roll live up to its name, the tuna, salmon, and avocado are arranged alternating over the top of the roll to give a neat mix of different colors resembling a rainbow.

Alternatively, you can use mango slices instead of tuna and smoked salmon instead of raw salmon if you do not want to use raw fish in your roll. This is also a popular option for people grossed out by the thought of raw fish.

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (3)

What is the best way to serve and eat sushi?

When Serving Sushi:

Sushi is one of those fun meals that you will frequently see pop up on friends snapchat or instagram stories or whatever social media companies sharing application. Whether it is at a restaurant or in your own kitchen, sushi is extremely instagrammable. Sushi is very trendy and typically served at higher end restaurants, therefore there is a high likelihood that the group is either on a date night or out on the town and dressed accordingly! Lots of pictures are flying around on these kind of nights therefore the presentation of the sushi tends to get some notice!

Typically sushi is plated in a very eye catching and palatable pattern on plates that have good visual appeal, frequently made of melamine in traditional japanese fashion. Restaurants tend to make a big deal of the presentation. Some ways sushi is presented can be on a small wooden boat brought out to the table or even lit on fire!

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (4)
When Eating Sushi:

Experienced sushi eaters know that sauces can make or break your eating experience. There are two ways that sauces can be eaten with sushi:

Sauces on or in the sushi roll

This tends to be sauces that are either mixed in with other ingredients or added as a topping. Examples of this are spicy mayo sauce which is frequently mixed in with shredded imitation crab or drizzled on top of the sushi roll in patterns that are visually appealing. Some other sauces that are put on top or in the sushi roll are unagi eel sauce and teriyaki sauce.

Sauces that the sushi roll can be dipped in

The first sauce and most popular that probably comes to mind is soy sauce. (I have linked my favorite soy sauce to the right or below on mobile). Soy sauce is cheap and can be found at any grocery store or restaurant. Soy sauce is also an ingredient in numerous other recipes, not just sushi or even japanese based recipes.

Soy sauce can be given a little extra heat by mixing wasabi into the soy sauce.

Rainbow Roll FAQ and Tips

Is a rainbow roll raw?

Typically the rainbow roll contains raw salmon and tuna and is not cooked. However, the raw salmon can be substituted for canned or smoked salmon and the raw tuna is frequently substituted with mango slices which is very popular!

What fish is in a rainbow roll?

The rainbow roll contains raw salmon, raw tuna, and imitation crab. The rainbow roll does have many variations that do not include raw fish however!

How many calories are in a rainbow roll?

There are numerous variations of the rainbow roll but it is safe to say that most rolls contain between 350 and 450 calories.

What other sushi rolls are like a rainbow roll?

There are not to many rolls that combine several different types of fish like the rainbow roll does. The ones that have several types of fish are typically the more expensive sushi rolls at restaurants. Other rolls that have several types of fish are the dragon roll, shaggy dog roll, and the simple but delicious Alaska roll!

Is a rainbow roll spicy?

No, the rainbow roll does not contain any ingredients that would be considered spicy, however many people add a spicy mayo sauce to give it an extra kick! The best way to add spicy mayo sauce to this roll is to shred the imitation crab and mix in the desired amount of spicy mayo sauce in a bowl and add it to the “guts” of your roll.

What is a rainbow roll made of?

Sushi Rice: It is very important to use sushi rice instead of traditional long grain white rice when making sushi. Sushi rice and normal white rice differ in the fact that sushi rice is short grain and has more starch and protiens than long grain rices which is the traditional kind. The increased levels of starch and protein makes the sushi rice sticky which allows you to shape it into a roll. Click here to read our post about why you should use sushi rice instead of white rice!

Imitation Crab: Did you know that the vast majority of crab used in sushi is actually imitation crab? Imitation crab is made of starch and finely diced white fish and shaped to imitate the look of real crab meat from a crab leg. Real crab meat can be used as well, however it is not as easily found and is expensive and messy. Imitation crab can be found at any grocery store. Check out these other sushi rolls that contain crab!

Ahi Tuna: Ahi tuna is way easier to find than you would expect. You can easily find fresh tuna steaks at most grocery stores in the seafood section or frozen ahi tuna steaks work just as well. Ahi tuna gives a delicious fresh taste and is a pupoular ingredient in sushi rolls. Ahi tuna can also be found as a topping on salads or in poke bowls!

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (5)

Smoked, Canned, or Raw Salmon: Finding sushi grade salmon can pose a challenge to at home sushi makers. Raw salmon for sushi must be designated safe for consuming raw, do not assume all salmon can be eaten raw! With that in mind, alternative options for using raw salmon are smoked or canned salmon. My preference is smoked salmon which still has a great fresh flavor. Both of these options are easy to find in your grocery store.

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (6)
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (7)

Nori Sheets (Seaweed): Sheets of dried seaweed, otherwise called nori, are what are used to align the guts of the sushi roll. Nori is very healthy for you, and has relatively little flavor. Sheets of nori can be found at most grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, or HEB or can even be ordered off of Amazon.

Avocado: Avocado is found in most sushi rolls, not just the rainbow roll, not to mention the fact that avocado is just down right delicious! To pick an avocado, look for dark skin colors and place them in the palm of your hand. If it is to firm, it is not ripe yet. If it is to squishy, it is overripe. You should be looking for a dark skinned avocado that you can give a slight squeeze!

Cucumber: Cucumber is found in the majority of sushi rolls, not only in the rainbow roll. The best cucumbers to use for sushi are what are called “japanese cucumbers” which are known to be straight, thin, and contain less water than a traditional cucumber. Cucumbers are known for numerous health properties.

Rainbow Roll Ingredients

  • 2CupsCooked Sushi Rice(Click link for easy sushi rice instructions)
  • 1/4CupsSeasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 4Half SheetsNori
  • 4SticksImitation CrabShredded in a small bowl
  • 1SmallCucumber(Sliced into matchsticks)
  • 1Avocado
  • 8-12ozSushi Grade Tuna
  • 8-12ozSmoked or raw salmon
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (8)
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (9)

Cooking Tools

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Cling Wrap
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (10)

Cooking Instructions

Preparation

  1. Add the seasoned rice vinegar to thecooked sushi riceand mix together.
  2. Place your bamboo rolling mat inside a plastic gallon bag (trust us, this makes clean up much easier, all you have to do is throw out the bag!)
  3. Place one half sheet of nori on the rolling mat (remember we tore the full sheet in halfhamburger style) with the rough side facing up.
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (11)

Making the Roll

  1. ONLY ONCE THE RICE HAS COOLED, grab a handful of rice and cover the rough side of the nori leaving a 1 inch gap at the top without any rice. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice. Grab the nori by the top, and flip it over so the rice is against the bamboo rolling mat and the 1 inch gap is now on the bottom.
  2. Starting 1/3 of the way up from the bottom begin to align the “guts” of the sushi roll in a horizontal line. Begin with the cucumber matchsticks and align them across the nori. Next, take your shredded imitation crab meat and align it above the cucumber. The crab should be about a half inch to an inch thick all the way across. Alternatively, just using the whole crab sticks works just as well.
  3. Grab both the sushi mat and the nori and roll the mat over from the bottom until the empty space we left at the bottom is touching the other side, squeezing down on the roll to make it nice and tight and allowing to hold its shape.Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (12)
  4. Now that the roll is formed, it is now time to add the “Rainbow”!Cut the salmon, tuna, and avocado lengthwise and trim each one until they are no thicker than a quarter inch.Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (13)
  5. Layer the tuna, salmon, and avocado alternatively across the top of the roll like a blanket to where it looks like a rainbow!
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (14)
Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (15)

Presentation and Cutting

  1. Once layered, it is a good idea to wrap the roll in cling wrap and roll it wound on your counter or cutting board. This helps the meats on top of your roll stay formed and in place.
  2. Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the toll into 8 equal sizes (easiest if you start by cutting the roll in half). Before you make each cut DAMPEN THE KNIFE WITH THE PAPER TOWEL or else the roll will fall apart when you slice through it.
  3. Serve with soy sauce, take some pictures for your friends, and enjoy!Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (16)
If you enjoyed this recipe or have feedback, please scroll down and leave a rating, comment, or critique!
See our printer friendly recipe version below!

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind while making sushi

  • Check out our easy rice recipe here!
  • Always wet your hands before handling rice. Rice is extremely sticky!
  • While on the topic of rice.. please wait for it to cool. Getting excited and touching hot rice is no fun.
  • Use a wet paper towel and wipe down your knife between cuts while slicing your rolls! If you do not, the roll will fall apart!

Perfect Sushi Rice Recipe

Quick and easy sushi rice recipe!

Check out this recipe

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (17)

Las Vegas Roll: Delicious Ingredients & Recipe

A party in your mouth, fried with a kick of jalapeno!

Check out this recipe

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (18)

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (19)

Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients

Tuna, crab, and salmon? A different flavor with every bite!

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, sushi

Cuisine asian, Japanese

Servings 4 Rolls

Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag

  • cutting board and a sharp knife

  • Small mixing bowl

  • Cling Wrap

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Cooked Sushi Rice (See below link in notes for easy sushi rice instructions)
  • 1/4 Cups Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 4 Half Sheets Nori (See below link in notes for folding instructions)
  • 4 Sticks Imitation Crab Shredded in a small bowl
  • 1 Small Cucumber (Sliced into matchsticks)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 8-12 oz Sushi Grade Tuna
  • 8-12 oz Smoked or raw salmon

Instructions

  • Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice and mix together.

  • Place your bamboo rolling mat inside a plastic gallon bag (trust us, this makes clean up much easier, all you have to do is throw out the bag!)

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (20)

  • Place one half sheet of nori on the rolling mat (remember we tore the full sheet in half hamburger style) with the rough side facing up.

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (21)

  • ONLY ONCE THE RICE HAS COOLED, grab a handful of rice and cover the rough side of the nori leaving a 1 inch gap at the top without any rice. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice. Grab the nori by the top, and flip it over so the rice is against the bamboo rolling mat and the 1 inch gap is now on the bottom.

  • Starting 1/3 of the way up from the bottom begin to align the "guts" of the sushi roll in a horizontal line. Begin with the cucumber matchsticks and align them across the nori. Next, take your shredded imitation crab meat and align it above the cucumber. The crab should be about a half inch to an inch thick all the way across. Alternatively, just using the whole crab sticks works just as well.

  • Grab both the sushi mat and the nori and roll the mat over from the bottom until the empty space we left at the bottom is touching the other side, squeezing down on the roll to make it nice and tight and allowing to hold its shape.

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (22)

  • Now that the roll is formed, it is now time to add the "Rainbow"!

    Cut the salmon, tuna, and avocado lengthwise and trim each one until they are no thicker than a quarter inch.

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (23)

  • Layer the tuna, salmon, and avocado alternatively across the top of the roll like a blanket to where it looks like a rainbow!

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (24)

  • Once layered, it is a good idea to wrap the roll in cling wrap and roll it wound on your counter or cutting board. This helps the meats on top of your roll stay formed and in place.

  • Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the toll into 8 equal sizes (easiest if you start by cutting the roll in half). Before you make each cut DAMPEN THE KNIFE WITH THE PAPER TOWEL or else the roll will fall apart when you slice through it.

  • Serve with soy sauce, take some pictures for your friends, and enjoy!

    Rainbow Roll: Quick Recipe & Easy Ingredients (25)

Video

Notes

-Folding nori hamburger style

-Popular spicy mayo recipe.

-Quick & easy sushi rice

Keyword ahi tuna, beginner sushi, challenging sushi roll, Popular Sushi Roll, smoked salmon

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