Kate Koo makes Specialty Rolls, as seen on her course, Sushi Making at Home, on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Kate Koo

Specialty Rolls

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Specialty sushi rolls have gained popularity in American sushi bars, especially as variations on sushi have emerged in recent years. When designed with care, these rolls can be pretty to look at and delicious to eat yet still allow the flavors to complement and not compete with one another.


Citrus Ponzu:



Special equipment:
a makisu (sushi rolling mat)
  1. For the citrus ponzu: Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and orange juice in a small bowl until combined. Add the kombu. Set aside. (The kombu can be removed once it is soft or can be left in depending on the desired level of flavor; I typically leave mine in.)
  2. For the rolls: Seed the cucumber and slice into thin strips about 1/8 inch wide and 7 1/2 inches long. Cut the kaiware from the sponge base and rinse the sprouts under cold water. 
  3. Squeeze excess water from the crab and divide into 4 equal portions. 
  4. Lay a half nori sheet textured-side up (smooth/shiny-side down) on a cutting board with one of the longer sides closest to you. Dip your fingertips into ice water to just moisten them. Gently spread 3/4 cup of prepared sushi rice evenly over the entire sheet. Flip over the nori so it is rice-side down, keeping the long side of the sheet closest to you. Lay 1 1/2 ounces of the Dungeness crab lengthwise in the center of the nori sheet. Place 2 to 3 small (5-sprout) bunches of kaiware along the crab. Lay 3 to 4 pieces of cucumber against the kaiware.
  5. Wet your fingers again and use your fingertips to gently lift the edge of the nori closest to you and tightly roll it over the top of the filling ingredients. Tuck the edge of the nori around the filling and continue rolling the sushi until the seam is on the bottom of the roll. Use a makisu covered in plastic wrap to lightly press and shape the roll.
  6. Lay 3 pieces of the albacore slices end to end lengthwise down the top of the sushi roll making sure to cover the entire top of the roll. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the roll. Take the plastic wrap off the makisu and use it to gently shape the roll. Carefully remove the makisu, leaving the plastic wrap formed on top of the roll. Cut the roll (through the plastic wrap) into 8 even pieces. Remove the plastic wrap and arrange the sushi pieces on a plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making a total of 4 rolls.
  7. Place a very small amount of the grated garlic on top of each piece of sushi and drizzle the rolls with the citrus ponzu. Garnish with the scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi if desired.

Cook’s Note

If kaiware is not available, another type of sprout may be substituted. In order to cut the roll cleanly through the plastic wrap it is important to have a sharp knife.