Dragon Roll Sushi Is A High Reward Dish, With Only Medium Risk

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The dragon roll is the proper name an inside-out sushi roll. You don’t need a culinary degree to know that, considering how wildly popular sushi has become in the western world in the past few decades. More specifically, however, it means that the nori wraps around the ingredients inside and the sushi rice lays on the outside.

Typically, shrimp tempura and cucumber is what’s inside the roll, as well as thinly sliced avocado, which is placed on top of the roll resembling the scales of a dragon, from which the dish gets its name and essence. It’s not uncommon to encounter different versions of dragon roll sushi. Some restaurants, for example, put grilled eel inside the roll instead of shrimp tempura.

Shrimp tempura is something you can also make from scratch, recipes are available online and pretty much anywhere else, so that shouldn’t at all be an issue. However, it is important to remember that you’ll need two shrimp tempuras for each roll you plan to make.

Now that doesn’t mean that you will be able to reproduce a topnotch tempura just by following a recipe, no matter how meticulous you are. Thus, to achieve that extra crunchiness any tempura should have you need to put the frozen tempura in an oven (or toaster oven) for 20 minutes or so. While the shrimp tempura is in the oven, you can do most of the side work it requires to be prepared.

Moreover, considering how popular shrimp tempura is nowadays, it’s the rule for many American grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s, Costco, etc to brightly display it at their stores all over the country.

The most difficult part of the dragon roll recipe is to find the perfectly ripe avocado. To do so, look for avocados which skin is darker in color, that’s how you know that is your avocado and it’s ready to be used upon being purchased.

Another great way tp test your avocado is to gently squeeze in the palm of your hand. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure, then you have the green light. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure, it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. On the contrary, if the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch, then you’re in the presence of an overly ripe one.

In terms of rice, you’ll need Japanese short grain rice (Koshihikari is a popular choice), cook properly, and make sure to season the rice with sushi vinegar. Make sure, however, you don’t mash the sushi rice when you put it on nori sheet. When you see sushi roll, you should be able to see individual rice kernel. If you see mushy rice, you should come to terms with the fact that your dragon roll needs some fixing.



  • 1 full sheet of Nori

  • 120 g (4.2 oz) cooked white sushi rice

  • 3 battered tempura prawns

  • 3 avocado slices

  • ½ frozen unagi (freshwater eel) filet

  • Nori strips approximately 1 cm in width


  1. mix the tempura with a little bit of water and stir until combined to a thick even mixture. Cut off shrimp tails, and dip the shrimps, one by one, in tempura mixture and deep fry for about 30 sec or until the outside gets golden-brownish.

  2. Slice the cucumber into long slices, and use a peeler to peal thin avocado layers.

  3. Spread the rice on the nori sheet, and flip it over the mat so that the rice is now facing upwards. Lay the avocado the cucumber sticks you have cut in advance, and line up some tempura shrimps and on top of that slices of eel. Roll it inside-out style and cut the endings, but leave the rest whole for now.

  4. Elegantly, cover the top of the roll with the layers of avocado you made with the peeler, and use the bamboo mat to tighten it to the roll.

  5. Use a little spoon to carefully spread some Tobiko on the roll. You can cover the entire dragon roll with it, or just the top side – it’s your call.

  6. Now you can cut, and reline the roll in a shape of a dragon. You can use your imagination to create dragon eyes from tobiko, and dragon antennas from carrot sticks.

  7. Best served with teriyaki sauce on top, and soy sauce aside.