Dragon Roll: Easy Recipe & Delicious Ingredients!

Although this roll is fun and delicious, check out our other challenging sushi roll recipes here or visit our entire library of sushi rolls sorted alphabetically!

What you need to know before ordering a Dragon Roll…

Dragon Roll
Dragon Roll

Dragon rolls are made of lightly fried tempura shrimp, imitation crab, and unagi (grilled eel, optional) as the meats, cucumber and avocado as the veggies, and topped with a delicious mix of spicy mayo sauce and unagi eel sauce. A dragon roll is extremely popular as it is bursting with flavor and fully cooked for those that may be anxious about raw fish. Below you will find FAQ, ingredients lists, and an easy at home recipe!

Main Ingredients

  • Tempura Shrimp
  • Imitation Crab
  • Unagi (Grilled Eel, optional)

SAUCES & Toppings

  • Spicy Mayo Sauce
  • Unagi Sauce

VEGGIES & FILLING

  • Creamy Avocado
  • Crunchy Cucumber

Dipping Sauces





Best of all, there is no raw fish. Perfect for a first date!

Enjoy!

Dragon Roll

Click here to visit our sushi roll library!

What is a Dragon Roll?

Dragon Roll With Unagi Eel
Dragon Roll with Unagi Eel

What is the best way to serve and eat sushi?

When Serving Sushi:

Sushi is one of those fun meals that you will frequently see pop up on friends snapchat or instagram stories or whatever social media companies sharing application. Whether it is at a restaurant or in your own kitchen, sushi is extremely instagrammable. Sushi is very trendy and typically served at higher end restaurants, therefore there is a high likelihood that the group is either on a date night or out on the town and dressed accordingly! Lots of pictures are flying around on these kind of nights therefore the presentation of the sushi tends to get some notice!

Typically sushi is plated in a very eye catching and palatable pattern on plates that have good visual appeal, frequently made of melamine in traditional japanese fashion. Restaurants tend to make a big deal of the presentation. Some ways sushi is presented can be on a small wooden boat brought out to the table or even lit on fire!

Sushi Boat
Sushi Boat
When Eating Sushi:

Experienced sushi eaters know that sauces can make or break your eating experience. There are two ways that sauces can be eaten with sushi:

Sauces on or in the sushi roll

This tends to be sauces that are either mixed in with other ingredients or added as a topping. Examples of this are spicy mayo sauce which is frequently mixed in with shredded imitation crab or drizzled on top of the sushi roll in patterns that are visually appealing. Some other sauces that are put on top or in the sushi roll are unagi eel sauce and teriyaki sauce.

Sauces that the sushi roll can be dipped in

The first sauce and most popular that probably comes to mind is soy sauce. (I have linked my favorite soy sauce to the right or below on mobile). Soy sauce is cheap and can be found at any grocery store or restaurant. Soy sauce is also an ingredient in numerous other recipes, not just sushi or even japanese based recipes.

Soy sauce can be given a little extra heat by mixing wasabi into the soy sauce.

Dragon Roll FAQ and Tips

Is a dragon roll raw?

The dragon roll contains grilled eel, tempura shrimp, and imitation crab making the dragon roll a completely cooked sushi roll which is one reason it is so popular!

What fish is in a dragon roll?

A dragon roll’s main fish and ingredients are tempura shrimp, imitation crab, and unagi (grilled eel). The dragon roll contains no raw fish.

How many calories are in a dragon roll?

Is a dragon roll spicy?

What other sushi rolls are like a dragon roll?

What is a dragon roll made of?

Tempura Shrimp
Tempura Shrimp

Unagi (Grilled eel): Unagi is a freshwater eel and a frequent staple in Japanese cooking and can be found in everything from sushi to barbeque. This ingredient is totally optional for several reasons. 1) it may be a little challenging to get. 2) some people may get grossed out by the thought of eating grilled eel!

Nori Sheets (Seaweed): Sheets of dried seaweed, otherwise called nori, are what are used to align the guts of the sushi roll. Nori is very healthy for you, and has relatively little flavor. Sheets of nori can be found at most grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, or HEB or can even be ordered off of Amazon.

Unagi eel sauce: Now if you aren’t going to add the actual grilled eel, the sauce is a must! It is a reduced version of a combination of soy sauce, mirin, and white sugar and can be described as sweet and tangy at the same time! This is definitely a staple in a dragon roll.

Unagi Eel Sauce On Barbeque
Unagi eel sauce on barbeque
Spicy Mayo Sauce
Spicy mayo sauce

Avocado: Avocado is found in most sushi rolls, not just the dragon roll. This is aside from the fact that avocado is just down right delicious and could be a topping on just about anything! To pick an avocado, look for dark skin colors and place them in the palm of your hand. If it is to firm, it is not ripe yet. If it is to squishy, it is overripe. You should be looking for a dark skinned avocado that you can give a slight squeeze!

Avocado Sliced
Ripe Avocado

Dragon Roll Ingredients

If this looks like an extensive list, you would be correct. Here is the good news, most of these ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores. The following ingredients list is for 4 rolls.

  • 2 Cups Cooked Sushi Rice (Click link for easy sushi rice instructions)
  • 1/4 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • Half Sheets Nori (Click link for folding instructions hamburger style!)
  • 4 Sticks Imitation Crab Sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips to make 8 total sticks
  • 16 Pieces Tempura Shrimp Frozen (if you are really adventurous, follow this link to make your own tempura batter for shrimp!)
  • 1 Small Cucumber Sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 Avocado Sliced thin
  • 12 oz Unagi (grilled eel) (optional)
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbs Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (Yes you read that right, just a few drops!)
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
Perfect Sushi Rice Recipe
Quick and easy sushi rice recipe!
Check out this recipe
Sushi Rice Image

Cooking Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Small pot and stovetop
Bamboo Rolling Mat In Plastic. This Helps With Cleanup
Bamboo rolling mat in plastic

Cooking Instructions

Preparation
  1. Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice (the link is a quick sushi rice recipe) and mix together.
  2. Place your bamboo rolling mat inside a plastic gallon bag (trust us, this makes clean up much easier, all you have to do is throw out the bag!)
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and cook frozen tempura shrimp until golden and crisp (about 6 minutes per side). Do this step only if you are making your own tempura shrimp. If using tempura shrimp from the store, follow the instructions provided.
  4. While the shrimp are cooking, make the spicy mayo sauce and Unagi (eel) sauce. Click the links to go to the simple recipe on our website. Just combine the mayonnaise, sriracha, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and smooth it out with a fork to make the spicy mayo sauce. To make the Unagi eel sauce, combine the soy sauce, white sugar, and mirin into a small pot. Cook and stir until the liquid is reduced down to 3/4 to 1 cup. Unagi sauce is fairly cheap and can be found at most grocery stores if the ingredients are not available.
  5. Once shrimp are cooked, remove the tails from 8 of the shrimp and leave the tails on the other 8.
  6. Place one half sheet of nori on the rolling mat (remember we tore the full sheet in half hamburger style) with the rough side facing up.
Spicy Mayo Sauce
Unagi Eel Sauce
Making the Roll
  1. ONLY ONCE THE RICE HAS COOLED, grab a handful of rice and cover the rough side of the nori. Leave a 1 inch gap at the top without any rice. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice. Grab the nori by the top and flip it over so the rice is against the bamboo rolling mat. The 1 inch gap should now be on the bottom.
  2. Starting 1/3 of the way up from the bottom begin to align the “guts” of the sushi roll in a horizontal line beginning with the imitation crab. The horizontal row of imitation crab should be about half an inch to an inch thick all the way across the nori.
  3. Above the imitation crab, add two tempura shrimp with the tails off in the middle, and add two more tempura shrimp with the tails on to the outside of the rolls. The tails should hang off of the side of the sheet.
  4. Add cucumber above the imitation crab and tempura shrimp
  5. Grab both the sushi mat and the nori and roll the mat over from the bottom until the empty space we left at the bottom is touching the other side, squeezing down on the roll to make it nice and tight and allowing to hold its shape.
  6. If using the unagi meat, place the thin slices on top of the roll.
  7. Add the thin avocado slices to the top of the roll.
Sushi Rice On A Bamboo Mat
Sauces & Presentation
  1. Once the roll is formed and the avocado has been added, it is time to add the spicy mayo sauce and Unagi eel sauce! There are two ways to do this: 1) The easy way is to just spread it across the top of the roll with a fork 2) The “Instagram-worthy-way” is to put the spicy mayo sauce in a small bag, cut off the corner and then push the sauce out of the bag while doing zig-zags up and down the roll.
  2. Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the toll into 8 equal sizes (easiest if you start by cutting the roll in half). Before you make each cut DAMPEN THE KNIFE WITH THE PAPER TOWEL or else the roll will fall apart when you slice through it.
  3. Serve with soy sauce, take some pictures for your friends, and enjoy!
If you enjoyed this recipe or have feedback, please scroll down and leave a rating, comment, or critique!
See our printer friendly recipe version below!

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind while making sushi

  • Check out our easy rice recipe here!
  • Always wet your hands before handling rice. Rice is extremely sticky!
  • While on the topic of rice.. please wait for it to cool. Getting excited and touching hot rice is no fun.
  • Use a wet paper towel and wipe down your knife between cuts while slicing your rolls! If you do not, the roll will fall apart!
Perfect Sushi Rice Recipe
Quick and easy sushi rice recipe!
Check out this recipe
Sushi Rice Image
Las Vegas Roll: Delicious Ingredients & Recipe
A party in your mouth, fried with a kick of jalapeno!
Check out this recipe
Las Vegas Roll

Sushi

Dragon Roll- Easy Recipe & Delicious Ingredients!

Challenging and fun roll to make using several different meats, veggies, and sauces!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese
Servings 4 Rolls
Calories 580 kcal

Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Small pot and stovetop

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups Cooked Sushi Rice (See below link in notes for easy sushi rice instructions)
  • 1/4 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 4 Half Sheets Nori (See below link in notes for folding instructions)
  • 4 Sticks Imitation Crab Sliced into 1/2 inch pieces to make 8 total sticks
  • 16 Pieces Tempura Shrimp Frozen
  • 1 Small Cucumber Sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 Avocado Sliced thin
  • 12 oz Unagi (grilled eel) (optional)
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbs Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (Yes you read that right, just a few drops!)
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

Instructions
 

  • Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice and mix together.
  • Place your bamboo rolling mat inside a plastic gallon bag (trust us, this makes clean up much easier, all you have to do is throw out the bag!)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and cook frozen tempura shrimp until golden and crisp (about 6 minutes per side)
  • While the shrimp are cooking, make the spicy mayo sauce and Unagi (eel) sauce. Click the links to go to the simple recipe on our website.
    Just combine the mayonnaise, sriracha, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and smooth it out with a fork to make the spicy mayo sauce.
    To make the Unagi eel sauce, combine the soy sauce, white sugar, and mirin into a small pot and cook and stir until the liquid is reduced down to 3/4 to 1 cup. Unagi sauce can also be found at most grocery stores for cheap if you cannot find mirin.
  • Once shrimp are cooked, remove tails from 8 of the shrimp, leave the tails on the other 8.
  • Place one half sheet of nori on the rolling mat (remember we tore the full sheet in half hamburger style) with the rough side facing up.
  • ONLY ONCE THE RICE HAS COOLED, grab a handful of rice and cover the rough side of the nori leaving a 1 inch gap at the top without any rice. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice. Grab the nori by the top, and flip it over so the rice is against the bamboo rolling mat and the 1 inch gap is now on the bottom.
  • Starting 1/3 of the way up from the bottom begin to align the "guts" of the sushi roll in a horizontal line beginning with the imitation crab. The horizontal row of imitation crab should be about half an inch to an inch thick all the way across the nori.
  • Above the imitation crab, add two tempura shrimp with the tails off in the middle, and add two more tempura shrimp with the tails on to the outside of the rolls with the tails hanging off of the side of the sheet.
  • Add cucumber above the imitation crab and tempura shrimp
  • Grab both the sushi mat and the nori and roll the mat over from the bottom until the empty space we left at the bottom is touching the other side, squeezing down on the roll to make it nice and tight and allowing to hold its shape.
  • If using the unagi meat, place the thin slices on top of the roll.
  • Add the thin avocado slices to the top of the roll.
  • Once the roll is formed and the avocado has been added, it is time to add the spicy mayo sauce and Unagi eel sauce! There are two ways to do this:
    1) The easy way is to just spread it across the top of the roll with a fork
    2) The "Instagram-worthy-way" is to put the spicy mayo sauce in a small bag, cut off the corner and then push the sauce out of the bag while doing zig-zags up and down the roll.
  • Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the toll into 8 equal sizes (easiest if you start by cutting the roll in half). Before you make each cut DAMPEN THE KNIFE WITH THE PAPER TOWEL or else the roll will fall apart when you slice through it.
  • Serve with soy sauce, take some pictures for your friends, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

-Folding nori hamburger style
-Popular spicy mayo recipe.
-Quick & easy sushi rice
-Easy Unagi eel sauce recipe
Keyword challenging sushi roll, crab, dragon roll, imitation crab, Nishiki, perfect sushi rice, shrimp tempura, Spicy Mayo, Spicy Mayo Sauce, sushi rice, unagi, unagi eel

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