Anti-Cookbook – Crispy “Crab” Rolls

A quick and easy appetizer, dinner or snack that I adapted from a TikTok (yes, TikTok) video that Emma showed me. Pretty good!


  • 1.5 cups sushi rice
  • 1 8oz. package of imitation crab meat (you only need 4oz.)
  • 1 cup potato starch (can user corn starch in a pinch)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic crisp
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (if you don’t have any, just use regular rice vinegar and add 2 tsp sugar and a good pinch of salt.)
  • 1 lime


  1. Prepare the sushi rice. Add 1.5 cups of rice and 2 cups of cold water to a pot. Allow rice to soak for about 15 minutes before turning on heat.
  2. Bring rice to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for another 10 minutes before using.
  3. Season your rice and pack it into plastic wrap in the bottom of a casserole dish. The goal here is both to form the rice into a brick from which you can cut sushi-size nuggets from, but also to help it retain shape when frying. Put the rice in the freezer to cool down quickly.
  4. While the rice is cooling down, get about 4-5 ounces of your fake crab meat and pull it apart in a bowl. Next, add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of your chili garlic crisp (see previous recipe) and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Adjust the mixture to your liking (more crab/less crab, more mayo/less mayo).
  5. When the rice is very cool, but not frozen, remove it from the dish and cut into nigiri-sized nuggets. Or maki-sized nuggets. Whatever. I don’t care!
  6. Roll the nuggets lightly in the potato starch and then place them gently in a sauté pan on medium heat with 1/4 inch of oil covering the bottom. Allow each side of the nugget to brown, turning gently to get even coverage.
  7. Remove nuggets from pan to plate lined with paper towel and salt lightly.
  8. Plate your dinner! Put a drip of chili oil down first, then the rice nuggets. Next, place a small scoop of crab salad on top using a spoon and your fingers. Finally, slice up some scallions and a sheet of nori into strips as thin as you can, and liberally distribute over the rolls.

That’s it! I know the knife work is bad, I could only find the worst, dullest one. I also only had corn starch around so I wasn’t able to do this 100% true to the video, but I also didn’t have avocado, because avocado isn’t good on rice to me. The corn starch was a little heavier of a breading than I would have wanted, but the finished product still tasted great. I bet this would actually work really well if you did a traditional double dredge in panko breadcrumbs too… nice.

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