A dragon roll is a classic sushi roll. It is a popular type of roll that has many different variations. Typically, it is filled with sushi rice, nori, grilled eel, crab sticks, and thin avocado slices. Some variations even contain grilled eel and crispy shrimp tempura, but most varieties do not include raw fish. Once you have the basic ingredients, you can add your favorite toppings to the rolls and enjoy a tasty dragon roll.
Dragon Roll Recipes
- 2 avocados halved, pitted, peeled, sliced thinly crosswise
- ½ lemon optional, to squeeze on the avocados to prevent browning
- 2 nori sheets cut in half crosswise
- 2 cups sushi rice prepared
- 1 Japanese cucumber pitted, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
- 8 pre-cooked shrimp tempura
- ⅛ cup fish roe or tobiko, plus more for garnish
- Grilled eel or unagi, optional
- Spicy mayo Japanese mayo mixed with Sriracha or hot sauce to taste
- Unagi Sauce store-bought
- Green onion sliced for garnish
- Gently press the avocado slices with your fingers and then with the side of a knife to make them malleable. Sprinkle with lemon, if using.
- Follow the steps for making sushi. You’ll be rolling it inside out.
- After turning the roll inside out, put the cucumber strips, shrimp tempura, tobiko, and unagi (optional) at the bottom end of the nori sheet.
- Roll it up. After you are done rolling, BEFORE CUTTING, place the avocado slices on top to look like a dragon’s “scales.”
- Cover with plastic wrap and place the mat over the roll. Squeeze gently to make the avocado wrap over the top of the roll.
- Cut the roll into 8 slices.
- Top each slice with a bit of roe. Drizzle with spicy mayo and sprinkle sliced green onions
- Serve with unagi sauce.
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This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Alternative Method: Dragon Roll in an Air Fryer
- 1 Dragon Roll (homemade or store-bought)
- Cooking spray (vegetable or canola oil)
- Prep Your Dragon Roll: Ensure your Dragon Roll is at room temperature. If it’s been refrigerated, allow it to sit out for a short while.
- Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). This step is crucial to achieving a crispy texture.
- Spray with Oil: Lightly spray the Dragon Roll with cooking oil to promote browning and crispiness.
- Air Fry: Place the Dragon Roll in the air fryer basket, seam side down. Be sure not to overcrowd the basket; you may need to cook one roll at a time or in small batches for the best results.
- Cook: Air fry the Dragon Roll at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as cooking times may vary depending on the size of your Dragon Roll and the specific air fryer model you’re using.
- Check for Doneness: After 5 minutes, carefully open the air fryer and check the Dragon Roll’s crispiness and warmth. If it’s not as crispy as you’d like, you can continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes, but be cautious not to overcook it.
- Serve: Once your Dragon Roll reaches the desired level of crispiness, remove it from the air fryer and let it cool for a minute or two. Then, slice it into bite-sized pieces and serve immediately.
Tips for making Dragon Roll
- Perfect Rice Preparation: Sushi rice is the foundation of your Dragon Roll. Rinse it thoroughly to remove excess starch, and season it with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Properly seasoned rice is essential for that authentic sushi flavor.
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Quality matters. Ensure your seafood, vegetables, and other ingredients are as fresh as possible. This guarantees the best taste and texture.
- Sharp Knife: A sharp, wet knife is your best friend when slicing Dragon Rolls. Keep it clean between slices to achieve those picture-perfect pieces.
- Bamboo Mat Technique: When rolling the sushi, use a bamboo rolling mat covered with plastic wrap for ease. Make sure you roll it tightly to keep the shape intact.
- Wet Your Hands: Keep a bowl of water nearby and wet your hands before working with sushi rice. It prevents sticking and makes the process smoother.
- Avocado Tip: To create the signature “dragon scales” on top of the roll, use thinly sliced avocado and gently fan it out after placing it on the roll.
- Garnish with Tobiko: To enhance the visual appeal, sprinkle some tobiko (flying fish roe) on top of the Dragon Roll. The vibrant colors and delightful crunch add an extra layer of sophistication.
- Soy Sauce and Wasabi: Serve with soy sauce and wasabi on the side. Dipping each piece allows you to control the flavor to your liking.
- Pickled Ginger: A small serving of pickled ginger on the side acts as a palate cleanser between bites, enhancing the overall tasting experience.
- Pair with Miso Soup: A classic pairing, a bowl of miso soup perfectly complements the Dragon Roll. The warm, savory broth balances the roll’s cool, creamy textures.
- Japanese-Style Salad: Serve with a simple Japanese-style salad, perhaps with a sesame or ginger dressing. The refreshing salad adds an element of freshness to your meal.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Dragon Roll
- Can I prepare the Dragon Roll in advance? Absolutely! You can prepare the ingredients and roll the Dragon Roll in advance. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Slice and garnish it just before serving.
- What’s the ideal accompaniment to the Dragon Roll? The Dragon Roll pairs wonderfully with miso soup. Its warm umami flavor complements the cool, creamy textures of the roll.
- How do I store leftover Dragon Roll? If you have leftovers, wrap the Dragon Roll tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Consume within 24 hours to ensure the best taste and texture.
- Can I make a vegetarian version of the Dragon Roll? Absolutely! You can replace the eel with avocado, cucumber, or other vegetarian options to create a delightful vegetarian Dragon Roll.
- Can I freeze Dragon Rolls for later consumption? It’s not recommended to freeze Dragon Rolls as sushi rice and some ingredients may not freeze well, affecting the overall quality. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a short period.
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I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.