Spider Roll: FAQ, Easy Recipe & Ingredients!

Although the shrimp tempura 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 Spider Roll…

Spider Roll
Spider Roll!

Spider Rolls are made of lightly fried soft shell crab and thinly sliced cucumber and carrots. The Spider Roll is typically topped with unagi eel sauce and dipped in soy sauce when eaten. Unagi eel sauce gives a sweet and tangy flavor. The spider roll is fully cooked and is popular in restaurants as the chef will make the crab legs look like spider legs (hence the name spider roll). Below you will find FAQ, ingredients lists, and an easy at home recipe!

Main Ingredients

  • Soft shell Crab (Lightly Fried)

SAUCES

  • Unagi Sauce (Eel Sauce)

VEGGIES & FILLING

  • Carrots
  • Crunchy Cucumber

Dipping Sauces





The spider roll is what is known as a fun sushi roll since it is meant to be served in the likeness of a spider! The spider roll is a fully cooked sushi roll and is extremely simple containing only three ingredients aside from the nori (seaweed) and the rice. The most challenging part of this roll is sourcing soft shell crab. Because of this challenge, most people tend to satisfy their spider roll cravings at a restaurant. The spider roll would be priced in the mid range of sushi rolls between $9 and $15 in a restaurant.

Spider Roll
Spider Roll

Click here to visit our sushi roll library!

What is a Spider Roll?

The spider roll is an inside out sushi roll which means the rice is on the outside. Fortunately the main ingredient is not spiders, it is actually lightly fried soft shell crab in tempura batter! The spider roll gets its name from its appearance when served in a restaurant. The soft shell crab legs are made to hang off the end of the rolls which gives it a spider looking appearance. Additional ingredients are carrots and cucumbers sliced into matchsticks. The challenge for this roll is not the fact that you have to fry it, it’s sourcing the softshell crab which would likely only be available in high end grocery stores.

Soft Shell Crabs
Soft Shell Crabs
Fried Soft Shell Crab
Fried Soft Shell Crab

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.

Spider Roll FAQ and Tips

Is a spider roll raw?

A spider roll is completely cooked. The only fish or meat in a spider roll is the soft shell crab which is lightly fried.

What fish is in a spider roll?

The only meat or fish in a spider roll is the fried soft shell crab making it a completely cooked sushi roll!

How many calories are in a spider roll?

The spider roll contains between 300 and 400 calories per roll. This is more than a typical sushi roll as the soft shell crab is breaded and lightly fried!

Is a spider roll spicy?

No, a spider roll does not contain any ingredients that would make it be considered spicy, however we recommend adding spicy mayo sauce to any sushi roll to give it an extra kick! Spicy mayo sauce is just a smooth mixture of mayonaisse and sriracha sauce.

What other sushi rolls are like a spider roll?

ALthough the spider roll is fairly unique (not many rolls call for soft shell crabs!), other rolls that could compare are the Las Vegas Roll and the Shrimp Tempura Roll as both of these are lightly fried as well. Additional rolls in this price range are the Alaska roll, the spicy crab roll, and the shrimp tempura roll.

What is a spider roll made of?

Sushi Rice: Using sushi rice is key to making sushi rolls. The difference between sushi rice and normal white rice is that sushi rice is short grain and has more starch and protiens than traditional long grain rices. The increased levels of starch and protein give sushi rice its stickiness factor which allows you to shape it into a roll. Check out our post about why you should use sushi rice instead of white rice!

Nori Sheets (Seaweed): These sheets of dried seaweed work best for making sushi, are very healthy for you, and have relatively little flavor. Sheets of nori can be found at most grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, or HEB. You can even order sheets of nori off of Amazon.

Soft Shell Crab: Sourcing the soft shell crab is the hardest part of the spider roll. Soft shell crab is not typically found at most run of the mill grocery stores. Grocery stores with more robust seafood counters such as Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Kroger should carry soft shell crab. Check out this link for insrtuctions on how to clean the soft shell crabs.

Soft Shell Crab By Itseld
Soft Shell Crab

Unagi eel sauce: This 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! Click here for the easiest recipe! This is definitely a staple in a spider roll.

Tempura Batter: Tempura batter is easier to make than you think! Tempura batter is a combination of egg whites, flour, corn starch, and cold water. Just follow our link here for our quick recipe. Alternatively, you can buy pre-mixed tempura batter at a grocery store but where is the fun in that?

Cucumber: Cucumber is found in the majority of sushi rolls, not only in the spider roll. The best cucumbers to use for sushi are what are called “japanese cucumbers” which are known to be straight, thin, and contain less water than a traditional cucumber. Cucumbers are known for numerous health properties.

Carrots: Carrots on sushi? Really? Yes! Carrots are a vegetable that is actually considered a root. Carrots are grown underground and are known for being rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A which is known to promote healthy eye health! Check out all the benefits of adding carrots to your diet.

Cucumber
Cucumber
Sushi Rice And Veggies
Sushi rice and veggies

Spider Roll Ingredients  

  • 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)
  • 4 Soft Shell Crabs
  • 1 Half Cucumber sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 Carrot sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 Cups Tempura Batter (This can be bought at the store or check out our link for easy instructions)
  • Oil for frying

Unagi Eel Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Mirin Japanese sweet wine

Cooking Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Deep fryer (or something to fry veggies and roll in hot oil)
  • Small pot and stovetop to make the Unagi Eel Sauce
Bamboo Mat Inside Bag
Bamboo rolling mat inside bag

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preparation

  1. Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice and mix together.Sushi Rice And Veggies
  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!)

Bamboo Mat Inside Bag

  1. Prepare tempura batter (or buy if from the store)
  2. Clean the crab thoroughly. This is important if buying fresh crab. Part of the allure of the spider roll is that the legs of the crab make it look like a spider!
  3. Pat the crab dry and roll it gently in the batter.
  4. Deep fry the crab until it appears golden brown. Once cooked, transfer the crab onto a plate that has paper towels on it to drain the crab from excess oil. Once again, pat the crab dry. This is important, the roll tastes way better if the oil is patted off.

Making the Roll

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 tempura crab. In true spider roll fashion, the small legs of the crab should be hanging off the ends of the roll with the larger pieces of meat in the middle.
  4. Above the crab add the cucumber and carrots sliced into matchsticks.
  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.Rolling The Sushi

Sauces & Presentation

  1. 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.Unagi Eel Sauce
  2. Now it is time to add the 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 fork2) The “Instagram-worthy-way” is to put the sauces in small bags, cut off the corner and then push the sauce out of the bag while doing zig-zags up and down the roll.
  3. Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the roll 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.
  4. 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

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
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Spider Roll

Spider Roll: FAQ, Easy Recipe & Ingredients!

Unique and fun roll that is fully cooked and a must-try at restaurants!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack, sushi
Cuisine American, asian, Japanese
Servings 4 Rolls
Calories 376 kcal

Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Deep fryer (or something to fry veggies and roll in hot oil)
  • Small pot and stovetop To make the Unagi Eel Sauce

Ingredients
  

Spider Roll 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 Soft Shell Crabs
  • 1 Half Cucumer Sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 Carrot Sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 Cups Tempura Batter (This can be bought at the store or check out our link below for easy instructions)
  • Oil for frying

Unagi Eel Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Mirin Japanese sweet wine

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice and mix together.
    Sushi Rice And Veggies
  • 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!)
    Bamboo Mat Inside Bag
  • Prepare tempura batter (or buy if from the store)
  • Clean the crab thoroughly. This is important if buying fresh crab. Part of the allure of the spider roll is that the legs of the crab make it look like a spider!
  • Pat the crab dry and roll it gently in the batter.
  • Deep fry the crab until it appears golden brown. Once cooked, transfer the crab onto a plate that has paper towels on it to drain the crab from excess oil. Once again, pat the crab dry. This is important, the roll tastes way better if the oil is patted off.

Making the Roll

  • 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 tempura crab. In true spider roll fashion, the small legs of the crab should be hanging off the ends of the roll with the larger pieces of meat in the middle.
  • Above the crab add the cucumber and carrots sliced into matchsticks.
  • 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.
    Rolling The Sushi

Sauces & Presentation

  • 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.
    Unagi Eel Sauce
  • Now it is time to add the 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 sauces in small bags, 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 roll 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
-Perfect boiled shrimp
Keyword beginner sushi, challenging sushi roll, Popular Sushi Roll, softshell crab, spider roll, spider roll sushi
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