What is a Boston Roll?

The Boston roll is an Americanized version of Japanese sushi rolls. This sushi recipe uses poached shrimp instead of raw seafood. It also includes sushi rice and Japanese cucumbers. This recipe is an adaptation from the California roll in which imitation crab meat or surimi is the main seafood ingredient. This sushi recipe is made from the combination of shrimp and rice, which is a common ingredient in sushi restaurants along the east coast of the United States.

What is a Boston Roll?

Boston rolls include poached shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and a slaw.

The Boston roll is a classic example of fusion cuisine. It features poached shrimp instead of the raw fish used in Japanese sushi. Fusion cuisine allows sushi chefs to modify traditional recipes to appeal to both sushi novices and American food culture which is less inclined to use raw fish or meats. The base of a Boston roll is the nori sushi wrapper. This version of sushi uses a salty nori wrapper to give it an authentic taste. This type of sushi can often be made with up to five sheets of nori.

What’s in a Boston Roll?

A Boston roll is a variation of the California roll that includes avocados.

You can find either Japanese or American cucumbers in a Boston roll, depending on what is available. Cucumbers are usually thinly sliced before being added to sushi ingredients. Although avocados aren’t a common ingredient in sushi, food historians believe that they are an adaptation of ingredients found in the California roll.

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What is the difference between a Boston Roll or a California Roll?

The Boston roll is an Americanized version of traditional Japanese sushi rolls.

California rolls and Boston rolls look very similar. California rolls and Boston rolls have very similar ingredients. These sushi rolls contain avocado, nori seaweed and cucumber. However, a Boston roll contains poached shrimp, while a California roll has imitation crab. For those who prefer sushi rolls without raw fish, the imitation crab and poached shrimp are safe to eat. The rolls come with pickled ginger slices, wasabi, soy sauce and maybe a side dish of spicy mayo.

What to Eat with a Boston Roll

Boston rolls are made from fresh cucumbers.

For a Boston roll, Japanese seasonings preserve the dish’s Asian roots. Wasabi is a spicy paste similar to horseradish that can be added to the roll or used as a side dish. Soy sauce is a traditional Asian condiment that often appears in these rolls’ recipes. Chefs may add additional spicy sauces or sesame seeds to the roll. These are either elements from Asian cuisines or fusion methods for this type of sushi.

Are Boston Rolls Healthy?

Boston rolls contain many healthy ingredients. Brown rice can be used in Boston rolls as a healthy substitute for white rice. Poached shrimp is also included in Boston sushi rolls. Shrimp is rich in protein as well as several vitamins and minerals such vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin A. Boston rolls can also be made with avocado and cucumber. Cucumbers, as well as many other minerals, are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and Vitamin B. Avocado is healthy fat, rich in vitamins C, E and K, as well as a good source of vitamin B6.

Boston rolls contain nori seaweed. The nutritious source of many vitamins and nutrients is nori seaweed. Nori seaweed is rich in vitamins A, C and E and K. Nori also contains folate and zinc. Boston rolls are generally made with healthy ingredients. Boston rolls can be paired with low sodium soy sauce, or eaten without any dipping sauces.

How many Calories are in a Boston Roll?

The number of calories per roll will vary depending on where you buy your Boston sushi roll. Boston rolls may be served with regular soy sauce, white rice or brown rice. You may also want to add spicy mayo to your Boston roll. Spicy mayo, a high-fat, creamy condiment, can increase the calories in your meal.

Avocado is a healthy and high-fat food that can be found in Boston sushi rolls. A Boston roll typically contains between 280 to 370 calories depending on what ingredients were used. You can make your Boston roll at home if you want to be certain of the calories.

How to Make a Boston Roll

You will need many ingredients if you want to make a Boston Roll at home. A Boston roll includes shrimp, avocados, rice, nori seaweed and cucumber. Mix the cooked rice with certain ingredients. Mixing rice vinegar, sugar, salt and rice flour will give sushi rice its best texture and taste. Once your sushi rice has been prepared, it is time to cook the shrimp. It takes about three to five minutes for the shrimp to boil in boiling water.

You will first need to lay a sheet of nori seaweed on the bamboo sushi mat. Next, cover the seaweed with sushi rice. The seaweed sheet should be flipped so that the rice is at the bottom. Now you can fill the nori sheet by adding avocado slices, poached shrimps, and cucumber. Roll the bamboo mat to the ends. For a crunchy texture, some Boston rolls include tobiko. Boston rolls are often served with spicy mayo or soy sauce, pickled Ginger, or wasabi.

The Boston Roll is compared to traditional sushi

The Boston roll is a great alternative to traditional sushi. International and national organizations offering education and information about sustainability issues in seafood consider shrimp to be a better choice than the more sustainably fished and farmed species used in traditional sushi like tuna, snapper, and sole. A Boston roll can be eaten to reduce overfishing of endangered species of fish that have traditionally played a prominent role in sushi. This version of sushi uses cooked shrimp, which means that one can avoid potential illness from eating raw seafood.

Ingredients for Boston Roll Sushi

The ingredients in the Boston sushi roll are the same as the California roll cousin. Both the California and Boston rolls include cooked seafood. This roll is suitable for those who are just starting to try sushi, or if raw fish is something you’re not used to. From the outside, the Boston roll’s main ingredients are:

  • Orange tobiko
  • Seasoned rice
  • Nori seaweed
  • Poached shrimp
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Ripe avocado

Orange Tobiko

As a garnish, orange tobiko is added to the Boston roll’s outside. Tobiko technically is caviar, but it’s cheaper and easier to find. Tobiko refers to the small, orange-colored, pearl-like eggs that are taken from flying fish. Tobiko will taste similar to traditional caviar but with a hint of smoke. Tobiko adds a layer of crunch to the sushi roll.

Tobiko was traditionally sourced from flying fish in the East Chinese Sea and northern Taiwan Strait regions. Fishers begin to collect eggs as soon as they hatch. To preserve freshness, tobiko must be immediately preserved after being identified by its color. Tobiko’s primary colors are:

  • Orange
  • Black
  • Red
  • Green

Seasoned rice

The Boston roll is different from other traditional rolls that have nori seaweed covering all the ingredients. Instead, the rice covers the outside. You need to be careful to get the Boston roll you ordered from a restaurant to taste like it.

Start your journey to greatness by buying only the best quality rice. The next ingredient is patience. Rice should not be rushed. If you rush it, your Boston roll and your tastebuds will suffer. Take great care when making sushi rice.

Sushi Rice


  • High quality short-grain sushi rice
  • 1 sheet of kombu
  • To make your own sushi vinegar


  • Rinse the rice with a strainer
  • Cook regular rice with less water
  • Rule of thumb: One cup water equals one cup rice
  • Cook one sheet of Kombu to Rice while you cook for flavor
  • Cook the rice for the time indicated.
  • After cooking, let the rice cool down slightly
  • Discard kombu
  • To taste, season with sushi vinegar
  • Allow to cool completely

Sushi Vinegar


  • 1/2 c. unseasoned vinegar
  • One tablespoon fine sea salt
  • Two tablespoons. Fine sugar


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
  • Bring to boil
  • Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the granules are dissolved
  • Let cool off from the heat

Nori Seaweed

The layer of seasoned sushi is covered by nori seaweed, which keeps the Boston roll’s internal ingredients together. Nori can be made from any kind of edible seaweed. Choose sustainable farming methods when choosing nori.

You may need a sushi paddle and a sushi mat to roll the nori over the ingredients. After some practice, and becoming more comfortable with the task you will be able to use your hands to make Boston rolls quickly.

Poached Shrimp

Both the California and Boston rolls are popular because they don’t contain any raw seafood. The Boston roll is a good place to begin if you are new to raw fish. The Boston roll’s primary ingredient is poached shrimp. However, newbies will be able to take a step outside the box with the flying fish rod roe. Everybody has to start somewhere.

Fresh Cucumber

A Boston roll is incomplete without fresh cucumber. Only the best and most fresh cucumbers are acceptable. First, wash the cucumbers thoroughly and dry them. Next, cut the cucumbers into matchstick-size pieces.

Ripe Avocado

The addition of ripe avocado to creaminess adds a rich layer without the need for heavy sauces or condiments, which is what many modern rolls do. The grocery store will choose ripe avocados based on their touch. If you are able to gently push an avocado, your finger should make a depression. The stem of the avocado is either gone or easily removed. If the stem resists, it means that the avocado is too hard for your Boston roll. Once you have found the perfect avocado, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes and place it on top of the cucumber.

This post was written by a professional at Suhi Inc. Sushi Inc opened in late 2013, and is a vibrant Japanese restaurant in St Petersburg Fl. It offers live music, traditional hand-rolled sushi and a friendly atmosphere. Residents love our award-winning, fresh and creative Sushi rolls, Nigiri, and Sashimi. With a larger selection of tempura, non-Sushi, and teriyaki options, we can accommodate every taste.

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