inside out

What is the Boston roll sushi? (With Recipes)

We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

In Japan, they have traditional sushi rolls and most of them contain almost the same ingredients. You will not find eccentric names on the menu. Come West, and you will be surprised by the different variations and nomenclature you can find of this humble Japanese delicacy. Today, I will discuss a popular type of sushi roll known as the Boston roll.

What is the Boston roll sushi? If you love California roll (inside-out style) then you are sure to love its cousin Boston roll, which is a slight variation of it. The other ingredients remain the same and only imitation crabmeat is replaced with poached or tempura shrimp. The roll is covered in tobiko, which adds more flavor and a pop of color .

A Boston roll is a simple Eastern United States adaption that pays respect to the Japanese roots and celebrates the Boston-style seafood. The substitution of imitation crabmeat with poached shrimp is also appealing to the farming enthusiasts who prefer using other seafood instead of endangered fish to create rolls.

Let’s check out the recipe first to make mouthwatering Boston sushi roll right at home. If you are new to making inside-out sushi rolls, check out the detailed instructions in this article – How To Make California Rolls At Home Easy.

Things you will need


Start by cooking the sushi rice in a cooker or pot at least 30 minutes before you plan to make the rolls. To find details on how to make sushi rice, read this article.

Take a ripe but firm avocado and cut in into half, remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Now, make thin slices and sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

Take the Japanese cucumber and peel the skin. Cut into half from the midsection and make 8 thin strips lengthwise. Remove the seeds if any.

Clean the shrimps by removing the hard outer cover, de-vein them, and steam or fry them to get cooked shrimps. See below to find instructions on how to make shrimp tempura.

Place the bamboo mat like this on a plain working surface and cover it with a plastic wrap. This will prevent sushi rice from sticking to the mat and allow easy cleaning.

Cut the full Nori sheet into half and put the half sheet over the bamboo mat. As this is an inside-out roll, the Nori will be hidden inside rice so it does not matter which side is up.

Take a spoonful of seasoned sushi rice and spread it over the Nori sheet evenly. Wet your fingers slightly and press gently to ensure that the rice sticks to the sheet.

Sprinkle 1-2 spoons of tobiko or masago over the sushi rice as evenly as you can. It requires some patience as the masago tend to stick together, so be gentle without breaking the roe.

Flip the Nori sheet so that the rice now faces downwards. It may require some practice if you are a beginner so don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect for the first time. It will still taste great!

Line up the poached shrimps one after another to cover the length of Nori sheet and place cucumber strips beside it. Now, put avocado slices on top of the shrimps.

Start rolling by lifting the side of the bamboo mat towards you and press gently as you roll to get a compact form. When you are done rolling, wrap the bamboo mat again and give one tight hug to ensure everything sticks together.

Now, cut the Boston roll sushi into 6-8 equal pieces with the plastic cling film on. You may remove the plastic just before serving with soy sauce and wasabi.


How To Make Boston Maki Roll

This is an interesting variation for those who prefer to have Nori on the outside. All other things remain the same. The only step of flipping the Nori sheet is eliminated and you can have delicious-looking Boston Maki ready to serve with gari (pickled ginger) and wasabi.

How To Make Shrimp Tempura To Use In Boston Roll

As shrimp is the main highlight of a Boston sushi roll, you can prepare it in interesting ways. This style of sushi is highly preferred by those who don’t like the taste of raw fish. So, here’s the recipe for making shrimp tempura that adds more crunchiness to the roll.

What you will need

  • 1 small egg
  • 100 ml of cold water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Half-cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Remove the outer shell of the shrimps and just leave the last segment with the tail on

De-vein the shrimps and bend them slightly to straighten them out a little

Sprinkle cornstarch generously over each shrimp to coat completely

Heat vegetable oil in a wok, saucepan or deep fryer

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, start by sifting the flour

Add eggs and then icy cold water into the mixture, stirring constantly to make a batter

Make sure the batter stays cold during the process. For this purpose, you may need to include an icy cold bath when cooking large batches. For now, it’s not needed.

When the vegetable oil becomes hot enough, dip the shrimps into the batter to coat completely and then drop them carefully in hot oil.

Repeat the process for all the shrimps until they turn golden brown in color. When the shrimp tempura is ready, go ahead with the steps mentioned above.

How Can You Enhance The Taste Of Boston Roll Sushi

Some people like to enjoy their Boston sushi roll with just a little bit of soy sauce. As there is no raw fish involved, wasabi and ginger can be left out if you wish. Add some greasiness to your roll by dabbing a little kewpie mayo inside and you will love the delectable taste of this appetizer. 

5 Reasons to Love A Boston Roll

#1. I am a great fan of Boston roll and this is my go-to recipe when I have hungry friends dropping at home for a Super Bowl night. These rolls are not only delicious and filling, but I can also save them for the next day without the fear of anything getting spoiled or infected if left outside for more than a specific period of time.

#2. This style of sushi contains shrimps instead of imitation crabmeat so you will not have friends going ‘eeew’ over the imitation stuff. While I personally like imitation crab sticks, I know many people who don’t so shrimps are a good substitute.

#3. The cucumber strips add freshness to the sushi roll. Try to use Japanese cucumbers because they contain less to no seeds. Alternatively, you may also use Persian or American cucumbers.

#4. If you are afraid of raw fish, you can always try masago roe (fish eggs). They do not have an overpowering fishy smell and tastes mildly sweet and crunchy. They actually pop inside the mouth, hence they are a favorite food for the kids. If you also like masago sushi, you can have a look at my previous article to learn how to make it at home

#5. Avocado slices add creaminess, similar to cheese to the sushi roll. The delicious taste can melt your heart. However, make sure the avocado slices are not too ripe or they may become too squishy to form a compact roll.

Related Questions

Does Boston sushi roll contain raw fish?

No, this type of sushi does not contain any raw fish. Instead, it has poached or fried shrimps as fillings. If you are not a great fan of raw fish, this can be a great alternative for you.

Is Boston roll safe for pregnant women?

Yes, there is good news for pregnant women. If you have been resisting your desire to enjoy sushi due to fear of raw fish and possible bacterial infection, you can now indulge in Boston sushi rolls. The Boston roll includes cooked seafood so eat as much as you like.

What type of roe or fish eggs should I use in Boston roll

Masago (capelin roe) is a popular type of fish eggs that are derived from the capelin fish (Mallotus villosus), a member of the Salmon family. These small sized orange eggs can be used in different types of sushi rolls to add an extra dose of color and texture.

Related Article: 15 Best All You Can Eat Sushi Restaurants In Boston

Where can I find masago?

You can purchase masago from any Asian grocery store. If you don’t have one near you, look for it online. Several manufacturers sell frozen masago and some may even ship them to your home in a controlled manner.

How can I store leftover masago?

If you have leftover masago after making Boston sushi rolls, store them afresh in the coldest section of the refrigerator at a temperature between 28-32F for optimum shelf life. Unlike other forms of roe, Masago stays in good condition when frozen. Once thawed, the shelf life of masago is about 3 to 5 days.

How many calories in Boston roll?

One complete piece of Boston sushi roll contains 304 calories. It contains about 8.4 grams fat, 13 grams of protein and 42 grams of carbohydrate.

Who invented Boston roll sushi

While there are no records that say who invented Boston roll sushi, it is believed that the rolls are so called as a way to pay homage to the abundant shrimp bounty in Boston area. They are inspired by the inside-out California rolls invented by Canadian chef Hidekazu Tojo to woo western people in 1971.

What are other city names’ for inside out sushi roll

Besides the widely popular California roll, there’s also the Philadelphia roll that contains smoked salmon, cucumbers, and cream cheese. Another popular roll is the Seattle roll that contains avocado, cucumber, raw salmon, and a few other ingredients.

Atlanta roll contains fried tuna, salmon, and albacore with spicy aioli sauce. British Columbia rolls are made of grilled salmon skin, cucumber, and sweet sauce. Hawaiian sushi rolls contain raw tuna, avocado garlic, and tuna topping.

Michigan roll contains spicy tuna, smelt roe, avocado, and spicy sauce. New York roll is made of smoked salmon, avocado, and apple. Texas roll includes beef, cucumber, and spinach leaves. Las Vegas roll is a deep-fried roll containing crab, assorted fish, yamagobo, avocado, and cream cheese.


  1. Pingback: (Gimbap) Kimbap vs Sushi Detailed Explanation - Easy Homemade Sushi

Leave a Comment