Caterpillar Roll With An Avocado Topping


If you are feeling adventurous when you are ordering your next sushi roll, you may decide on your choice by either its interesting name or its appearance. If you let an unusual name stop you; you may miss a treat. For example, the name “caterpillar roll” may repulse all but the bravest of sushi lovers. And, judging it by its appearance certainly wouldn’t allay your fears about its contents.

What is caterpillar roll?

Caterpillar Roll

A caterpillar roll is a sushi roll which traditionally contains cucumber and unagi (eel). It’s covered with thin slices of avocado, which are layered around the outside of the roll. If you are a frequent sushi eater, you may realize the caterpillar roll is a reverse version of a dragon roll. After a caterpillar roll is decorated and sliced, it resembles a bright green caterpillar.

Caterpillar Roll

Caterpillar Roll With An Avocado Topping

A caterpillar roll is a sushi roll which traditionally contains cucumber and unagi (eel). It's covered with thin slices of avocado, which are layered around the outside of the roll.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 rolls
Calories 472 kcal


  • 2 Avocado cut into thin ovals
  • 4 oz Eel/unagi sliced or shredded
  • ½ Cucumber thinly sliced; seeds removed
  • 1 cup Cooked Sushi Rice
  • 2 Nori sheets (compressed seaweed)
  • Kabayaki, wasabi or Soy sauce (kabayaki sauce is soy sauce with added sugar and salt)


  • Spread a long piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the bamboo mat.
  • Cut a long rectangle of nori and lay it on top of the plastic wrap. (A bamboo mat is the best way to properly roll a sushi roll.)
  • With slightly wetted fingers, spread a layer of cooked sushi rice over the surface of the nori.
  • Flip these 2 layers - so the rice is on the bottom of the nori.
  • Spread a layer or cucumber over the nori.( It is best if the slices don't overlap)
  • Spread a layer of the eel over the cucumber.
  • Use the bamboo mat to roll it tightly. Keep the rice on the outside.
  • Slice the avocado into thin ovals. Arrange them in a row on top of a fresh piece of plastic wrap.
  • Place the roll on top of the avocado slices.
  • Use the mat to press the avocado into the rice.
  • Slice the roll. (Keep the plastic wrap on while cutting this; it keeps everything together.)
  • Decorate as desired (see below).
Keyword caterpillar roll, caterpillar sushi

Tips and Tricks for Caterpillar Roll With An Avocado Topping

For this recipe, it is best to use avocados with dark green skin. The avocado must be ripe; in order for it to be the correct consistency for this recipe.

** The quality of a sushi roll is very dependent on how the rice is prepared. Sushi rice is made with short grain white grain rice, rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Sushi rice is intended to be sticky, so it can stick to itself and be formed into a roll.

Caterpillar Roll

Since many do not like eel, and it is sometimes hard to find, one common variation of this roll is to substitute imitation crab meat for the eel. Another frequent substitute would be either tempura shrimp or ahi tuna.

Another variation oh this roll (called a Carolina Caterpillar Roll) substitutes barbecued catfish for the eel.

If you would like to make a vegetarian version of this roll, you can substitute pickled vegetables – especially roasted peppers

When the roll is assembled and cut, you can add artistic finishing touches to make it look more like a real caterpillar:

Eyes – red or black roe; pieces of nori

Antennae- thin pieces of cucumber (or pipe cleaners)

Feet – Small pieces of avocado

Stripes/spots – Thin strips of nori, or clusters of roe. You could also use sesame seeds over the outer surface of the “caterpillar.”

Nutrition Information of Caterpillar Roll With An Avocado Topping

1 full caterpillar roll (made with traditional ingredients) is 472 calories.

Other important counts are:

Fat 22g

Protein 21g

Carbs 49g

Sugar 5.7g

Sodium 884g

The nutritional information for each piece of caterpillar sushi would depend on how many pieces it was cut into- and by whether any substitutions were made.


In conclusion, a caterpillar roll is a tasty and attractive snack or meal choice. It may be an amusing choice for a party. Depending on your spice preference and on any substitutions, it would be a good choice for many who like traditional sushi flavors.

Join the Conversation

  1. This dish is absolutely delicious! I have used many recipes from this website and all have been impressive

  2. edgar0523m says:

    This is one of my sons favorites.

  3. It was delicious! Everyone just loved it.

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