How many calories is an Alaskan roll?

An Alaskan roll is a popular sushi roll that typically contains salmon, avocado, and cucumber. But how many calories are actually in this tasty roll? The number of calories in an Alaskan roll can vary depending on the ingredients used and how it is prepared. Keep reading to learn more about the calorie count of a typical Alaskan roll.

What is an Alaskan Roll?

An Alaskan roll, sometimes called an Alaska roll, is a creative inside-out sushi roll that originates from Alaska. It was created in the late 1970s as a way to use wild Alaskan salmon in a creative sushi dish.

A traditional Alaskan roll contains the following ingredients:

  • Salmon – Usually wild Alaskan salmon like sockeye or king
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Sesame seeds – For garnish on the outside
  • Seaweed paper
  • Sushi rice

The seaweed paper wraps around the rice and filling ingredients. The salmon, avocado, and cucumber fill the center of the roll. Sesame seeds garnish the outside for added texture and flavor.

There are also many variations on the traditional Alaskan roll as well. Some versions may include cream cheese, scallions, roasted red pepper, tempura flakes, spicy mayo, or other ingredients. The filling ingredients can also vary, often using other types of fish like tuna in place of salmon.

Calories in Salmon

Since salmon is the star ingredient in an Alaskan roll, the type of salmon used will significantly impact the calories. Here is the calorie count for some popular salmon varieties:

Salmon Variety Calories (per 3 oz cooked)
Sockeye salmon 156
Coho salmon 149
King salmon 182
Pink salmon 129
Chum salmon 127

As you can see, calories range from 127 to 182 per 3 oz serving depending on the salmon type. Sockeye is one of the most popular choices for Alaskan rolls due to its richness, so around 156 calories is common.

Calories in Other Roll Ingredients

The additional ingredients used in an Alaskan roll will also contribute to the total calorie count. Here are the calories for typical serving sizes of other roll ingredients:

Ingredient Calories
Avocado (1/4 fruit) 80
Cucumber (1/2 cup raw) 8
Sesame seeds (1 Tbsp) 89
Sushi rice (1/2 cup prepared) 150
Seaweed (1 sheet) 5

When added together with the salmon, these ingredients amount to around 400-500 calories total for the filling of a single Alaskan roll. The portion size of the roll itself will determine the final calorie count.

Calories Per Roll Portion

Many sushi restaurants serve Alaskan rolls cut into 6 or 8 pieces. The calories per piece will depend on the size and exact ingredients used. Here are some estimates based on typical roll sizes:

Roll Portion Estimated Calories
1 piece (cut into 8 pieces) 75-100
1 piece (cut into 6 pieces) 100-150
2 pieces (from 8-piece roll) 150-200
Half roll (4 pieces) 300-400

As you can see, a single piece from a typical Alaskan roll can range from 75-150 calories depending on the size. A whole roll cut into 8 pieces may contain 600-800 calories total.

Factors That Increase Calories

Certain factors can increase the calorie content of an Alaskan roll as well. Some elements that can add more calories include:

  • Fried ingredients – Tempura batter, flakes, or shrimp
  • Cream cheese – A 2-tablespoon serving has about 100 calories
  • Mayonnaise – Often used in spicy mayo, which has about 90 calories per tablespoon
  • Additional fish – More protein means more calories
  • Masago (smelt fish roe) – About 43 calories per tablespoon
  • Fattier types of salmon like king

If you are trying to limit calories, avoid Alaskan rolls with multiple fried ingredients, heavy sauces, cream cheese, and fatty types of salmon. Sticking to cucumber, avocado, and leaner salmon will keep the calorie count lower.

Low Calorie Alaskan Roll Options

Fortunately, there are also lots of ways to lighten up an Alaskan roll. Try these tips for a lower calorie Alaskan roll:

  • Use thinly sliced salmon or ask for less to reduce portion
  • Choose sockeye, pink, or chum salmon
  • Avoid tempura fried ingredients
  • Skip the cream cheese
  • Ask for brown rice instead of white sushi rice
  • Replace spicy mayo with avocado for creamy texture
  • Avoid masago and other heavy roes
  • Ask for less rice overall
  • Skip fatty sauces and oils

Using these tips can help reduce the calories in an Alaskan roll by 100 calories or more per piece. A lighter Alaskan roll may have just 50-70 calories per piece.

Calorie Ranges for Common Roll Sizes

Here is a summary of the typical calorie ranges for different portion sizes of Alaskan rolls:

Alaskan Roll Portion Calorie Range
1 piece (from 8-piece roll) 75-150
2 pieces (from 8-piece roll) 150-300
Half roll (4 pieces) 300-600
Full roll (8 pieces) 600-1200

The more pieces you eat, the more calories you will consume. Sticking to just 1-2 pieces will keep your calorie intake lower if you are watching your diet.

How Many Calories Should You Eat?

Now that you know the calorie content of Alaskan rolls, how many calories should you be eating in a meal? Here are some general daily calorie intake recommendations based on age and activity level according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

Age Sedentary Moderately Active Active
19-25 years old 2,000-2,200 2,200-2,400 2,400-2,800
26-50 years old 1,800-2,200 2,000-2,200 2,200-2,800
51+ years old 1,600-2,200 1,800-2,200 2,000-2,800

Based on these guidelines, most adults should aim for around 400-700 calories per meal if eating 3 meals per day. So eating 1-2 pieces of an Alaskan roll would fit into a balanced meal.

Health Benefits of Alaskan Rolls

While they can be high in calories, Alaskan rolls actually offer some great health benefits when enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the nutrients you’ll gain from eating this sushi roll:

  • Protein – Salmon provides filling protein to help build muscle.
  • Omega-3s – The salmon also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Vitamin C – The avocado supplies vitamin C to support immunity.
  • Fiber – Rice, cucumber, and seaweed provide digestive fiber.
  • Vitamin K – Seaweed is filled with bone-supporting vitamin K.
  • Antioxidants – Avocado and cucumber contain antioxidants.

So while it’s still important to watch your portion sizes, Alaskan rolls do supply key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats when eaten in moderation.

Should You Make Your Own Alaskan Rolls?

One way to have better control over calories and ingredients is to make Alaskan rolls at home. This allows you to adjust the portions, ingredients, and cooking methods to your preferences.

Here are some pros of making homemade Alaskan rolls:

  • Control portions of rice, salmon, avocado, etc.
  • Use healthier brown sushi rice
  • Avoid fattening sauces and mayo
  • Add more vegetables for fiber
  • Use lean salmon like sockeye or pink
  • Reduce sodium content and soy sauce
  • Make rolls fresh to order and customize each time

However, there are also some cons to making homemade rolls:

  • Requires some skill with rolling the seaweed
  • Fresh salmon can be expensive to buy
  • Time consuming prep and rolling
  • Need supplies like a bamboo mat and seaweed sheets

Overall, making your own Alaskan rolls gives you full control over nutrition and ingredients. But it requires more effort and skills. Purchasing selectively from a quality sushi restaurant may be easier for most people looking to watch their calorie intake.

Tracking Your Calories

No matter where you get your sushi, it’s always a good idea to track your calorie intake to meet your health goals. Here are some tips for tracking calories from Alaskan rolls and other foods:

  • Look up nutrition info online or ask the restaurant
  • Pay attention to portion sizes – slices, ounces, pieces
  • Use a calorie counter app to input your foods
  • Weigh foods at home for accuracy
  • Track calories at the time of eating for best recall
  • Compare calories to your target daily needs
  • Consult your doctor or dietitian if needed

Apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It make it easy to input the calories for Alaskan rolls and all your other daily foods. Tracking helps you stay mindful of portions and how different foods fit into your overall diet.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about the calorie content of Alaskan rolls:

Are Alaskan rolls fattening?

Alaskan rolls can be high in calories, especially if made with fatty sauces, tempura, cream cheese, etc. But the salmon, rice, and vegetables provide protein, carbs, and nutrients. Eaten in moderation as part of balanced diet, they can fit into a healthy lifestyle.

Are Alaskan rolls healthy?

In moderation, yes. Alaskan rolls provide lean protein, omega-3s, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But be mindful of portions, ingredients, and your total daily calories.

Do Alaskan rolls have cream cheese?

Traditional Alaskan rolls do not contain cream cheese. However, many modern recipes include cream cheese, which significantly increases the calories and fat. Ask for your roll without it to reduce the calorie count.

What’s the healthiest sushi roll?

Some of the healthiest sushi rolls are cucumber rolls, avocado rolls, and rice-less hand rolls in seaweed. Rolls made with lean protein, veggies, whole grains, minimal sauce, and less rice are your best options.

Should you avoid carbs in sushi?

You don’t need to avoid carbs entirely, even if you are reducing carbs. Sushi rice is a source of energy fueling your body and brain. Enjoy rolls made with brown rice and balance your carb intake with protein and healthy fats.

The Bottom Line

An Alaskan roll can range from 75-150 calories per piece depending on the size and ingredients used. Choosing lean salmon, minimizing rice, and skipping calorie-dense sauces and fried items will keep the calories down. Enjoy this tasty sushi roll as part of a balanced diet full of whole foods.

Leave a Comment