Sushi Rolls That Surprisingly Have The Most Calories

Sushi is easily one of our favorite meals when dining out. The fresh fish, hearty rice, and flavorful sauces are a winning combination that provides ultimate satisfaction. However, with the variety of sushi rolls available, many are not so healthy, and some are surprisingly high in calories. If you are looking for a meal that is healthy and balanced, you might want to put some rolls on your radar to avoid.

The one element that all sushi rolls have in common is rice, and while delicious, it tends to pack a caloric punch, according to Time. The source notes that most sushi rice is not simply cooked white rice, but it's seasoned with sugar and rice wine vinegar which can add unnecessary calories. However, the biggest caloric culprit is tempura or ingredients that are battered and deep-fried, adding extra calories and fat, according to Livestrong. Whether it's fried shrimp, salmon, or crab, anything fried won't be so light. Sushi rolls are not just about the fish and they include other flavorful ingredients as well. Spicy mayo, avocado, and eel sauce are other culprits that can pack on the calories. To have a better understanding of the nutritional profile of this dining favorite, see our list of sushi rolls that are highest in calories.

Dragon Roll

If you're out for sushi and watching your calorie intake, steer clear of the dragon roll. While there are slight variations in ingredients and preparation depending on the restaurant from which you order, the classic version contains shrimp tempura, BBQ eel, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, rice, and nori, according to The Kitchen Community.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Lauren Harris-Pincus estimates that a dragon roll contains a whopping 570 calories per roll (via Eat This, Not That). This includes 20 grams of fat, the macronutrient which contains the most calories per gram compared to the rest, per the United States Department of Agriculture. The main sources of fat in this roll are shrimp tempura which is deep-fried in oil, as well as the avocado. Don't get us wrong, these rolls are delicious but unfortunately, they are very high in calories. Considering you likely won't stop at one, the numbers quickly add up if you're watching your intake. 

Philadelphia Roll

Philadelphia rolls may be the most common sushi rolls on this list, making their way onto menus in restaurants across the country. As a nod to the classic breakfast of a bagel with cream cheese and lox, the ingredients in a Philadelphia roll include smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, rice, and seaweed, according to Tasty.

Even though it's not deep-fried, the addition of cream cheese in this sushi roll contributes to an increase in calories. Per Healthline, one ounce of cream cheese contains 10 grams of fat which supplies those extra calories. SparkPeople estimates that a standard Philadelphia roll totals 319 calories. Considering that this caloric total is only taking into account one roll and you will probably be eating other rolls or appetizers when you dine for sushi, (we know we always do!) it adds up quickly. If you are watching your weight and caloric intake then you might want to skip the Philadelphia rolls.

Salmon Tempura Roll

Here we go, another tempura roll, which as we mentioned, tends to be very high in calories. This is because tempura entails covering food in batter and deep-frying it in oil, both of which increase the overall calorie count, per Healthline. Even if caloric intake is not important to you, you should probably still limit your consumption of fried foods. When oil is heated to such a high temperature, trans fats can be formed. These in turn have been associated with many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Apart from the tempura, salmon is also high in fat. The types of fat predominantly found in salmon are unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are healthy for you, according to Healthline. However, because they still consist of fat macronutrients which are higher in calories, the overall calorie count of salmon tempura rolls increases as well.

Shogun Roll

Shogun rolls are highly variable and sometimes even challenging to find on a sushi restaurant menu. If you do see a Shogun roll, keep in mind that the ingredients can be significantly different depending on location, often affecting the overall nutritional profile. Some Shogun rolls contain spicy tuna, cucumber, salmon, red snapper, and green tobiko, such as the version at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Meanwhile, others contain salmon, spicy crab mix, lemon, avocado, cucumber, chili sauce, and scallions as seen at Phoenix Shogun

While these two rolls seem healthy and fairly reasonable in terms of calories, the Shogun roll at Shogun ATL contains shrimp tempura, cucumber, and a spicy mix crab stick. Again, the real caloric culprit here is the tempura. Other factors to consider when aiming to reduce your calorie count is to avoid extra sauces like spicy mayonnaise which has a high-fat content, or unagi sauce for the extra sugar.

Tiger Roll

Tiger rolls are aptly named for the inclusion of their star ingredient: tiger shrimp. Additional ingredients in this sushi roll include rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado, masago, lettuce, spicy mayo, but most notably the tempura tiger shrimp, according to MonkeySee. Shrimp by itself is very low in calories while being simultaneously high in nutrients like protein, selenium, and iodine, Healthline reports. However, once you batter and fry that shrimp, the calorie count skyrockets.

Per SushiFaq, Tiger rolls can be around 500 calories per roll. Most of these calories result from the fried shrimp as well as the avocado, spicy mayo, and rice. We love that tiger rolls contain so many veggies including seaweed, cucumber, and avocado — think of all the nutrients! But, because of the fried shrimp, we wouldn't recommend this as one of the lowest-calorie sushi rolls on the menu. If you are watching your intake, we would definitely suggest you skip this one.

Dynamite Roll

We'll admit it: We have a strong preference for sushi rolls with a crunchy topping. Is there anything better than a crispy texture to complement each bite? Dynamite rolls deliver exactly that. This fun sushi is made from a combination of rice, seaweed, fish roe, spicy mayo, eel, avocado, masago, radish sprouts, teriyaki sauce, and shrimp tempura, according to Recipe Arcade. 

Spicy mayo is a common ingredient in various sushi rolls and it provides a desirable creamy element with a bit of a kick. But anyone on a diet should be wary since plain mayo already contains 10 grams of fat per tablespoon, according to Healthline. Because of the inclusion of numerous high-fat ingredients like avocado, spicy mayo, and shrimp tempura, the calorie count for dynamite rolls ends up being rather high. If you are watching your fat and calorie intake, skip this crunchy creamy roll and opt for something simpler.

Spider Roll

Even though the California roll often gets a bad rap for its imitation crab meat, it's actually fairly healthy compared to the spider roll, which contains soft shell crab. The issue with the latter is that it typically contains fried soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber, and mayo. Because of the deep-fried crab, the source of protein in this roll is loaded with excess fat. 

Even the avocado which contains many nutrients like fiber and antioxidants contains a large amount of fat. According to Healthline's recommendations, a serving should be around one-fifth of an avocado. We don't think we've ever such a small quantity of creamy avocado — we usually go for the whole thing, if not just half. Diet Detective estimates that one spider roll contains about 317 calories. While this may not sound like a lot, when you factor in that you will likely have several other items when dining out for sushi, it's fairly high for one roll.

Volcano Roll

A volcano roll is a regular option at sushi restaurants, but the details of its contents often vary. How Daily notes that a volcano roll can be made up of anything, but it should generally be cut, stacked, and drizzled with a plethora of sauces to mimic the appearance of a volcano.

One common rendition includes spicy tuna, cucumber, and tempura rock shrimp, according to On the Gas. The combination of tempura and heavy amounts of sauce drizzled on top of the roll point directly towards an abundance of extra calories. Most of the sauces are mayo-based, contributing to the higher content of fat. Meanwhile, if they aren't mayo-based, they tend to be sweeter sauces like eel or teriyaki which are high in sugar. The sugar in these sauces also contributes to extra calories. Don't get us wrong, this roll is delicious! It's just not the lowest calorie option available.

UFO Roll

Are you familiar with the UFO roll? Available at some local sushi spots, UFO rolls are undeniably delicious but also pack in plenty of extra calories. According to RB Sushi, these rolls contain shrimp tempura, crab, and avocado, topped with salmon, eel, seared tuna, and a shredded potato crunch. There are certainly a lot of layers of flavor in this roll. The potato crunch, which is essentially potato chip dustings, really helps to add enhance the flavor, but sadly (if you're counting), it also adds extra calories.

Because of these high fat and high carbohydrate additions like shrimp tempura and shredded potato, the UFO roll is calorically dense. Don't forget, this sushi roll also includes some avocado, supplying even more grams of fat and calories. If you're merely looking for maximum flavor sensation, then order the UFO roll. But we're sorry to say, this one is not diet-friendly.

Shrimp Killer Roll

Shrimp Killer rolls (or Killer Shrimp rolls depending on where you are dining) include fried shrimp and crab meat, topped with more shrimp, avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo, per 101 Sushi. Can you say delicious? This is definitely one of our favorite sushi rolls. The doubling up on shrimp (both fried and raw) is meant for the true shrimp lovers out there. We are also fond of the flavor pairing and texture combination between the creamy spicy mayo and the sweet tangy eel sauce. 

Too bad this dynamic duo packs so many extra calories. Between the fried shrimp, the avocado, and the bundle of caloric sauces, the killer shrimp roll is not for those looking to eat light. Instead, may we suggest a cucumber roll or a spicy tuna roll? Although these alternatives have far fewer components, they are also more suitable for people watching their diets.

Baked Lobster Roll

A plain cucumber roll is really sounding boring right about now when compared to a baked lobster roll! Although the latter is far less common on sushi restaurant menus than most of the other rolls on our list, if you manage to find it, just know that it packs extra calories. Nonetheless, containing lobster, crab, avocado, unagi sauce, spicy mayo, a crunchy topping, and scallions, this sushi roll brings the flavor.

While lobster is actually a great source of protein loaded with nutrients like copper, selenium, and omega 3 fatty acids, according to Healthline, the baked lobster sushi roll's other ingredients do not stack up. The mayo adds extra fat, while the unagi or eel sauce loads up on sugar, both of which contribute to higher calories (via Make Sushi). You also have a crunchy topping which is often made of carbohydrates adding calories. This one is definitely not going to work for your low calorie diet, but it is undeniably delicious.

Las Vegas Roll

Above all other high-calorie sushi rolls you have the Las Vegas Roll. If you've been lucky enough to have come across this sushi roll when dining out, then you'll know that this one contains avocado, cream cheese, salmon, jalapeños, and a spicy sauce. But wait, it gets even better because this roll is also entirely deep-fried. Yes, that's right — once assembled, the whole sushi roll gets dumped in the deep fryer to bring extra flavor and crunch.

By this point in our list, you know what happens when you deep fry ingredients. Batter and oil mean the food takes on extra fat and consequently, extra calories. With the addition of avocado, spicy mayo, and cream cheese in this sushi roll, the Las Vegas roll counts a high proportion of fat. This roll is too much, even for those who are looking for a heavy meal.