California Roll Sushi Bowl

Califronia Roll Cold Rice Salad

California Roll Cold Rice Salad

California rolls were the first sushi I ever tried, and I love the flavors, but can’t quite get the hang of rolling those little rolls. I decided the taste would be the same whether rolled into cute little rolls or just tossed together like a cold rice salad. I gave it a try. Result: SUCCESS! This California Roll Salad is every bit as yummy as the authentic sushi rolls, and super easy to throw together.

You don’t need to buy expensive Japanese sushi rice – just plain long grain white rice will do. But be sure to start with cold cooked rice because if the rice is hot or even warm, this salad will turn into a gummy mess.

Real crab can be spendy, but I don’t like the imitation crab for this so I used the real deal in a very small amount. You can add more if you like crab.


Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish – Prep time 10 minutes

6 cups chilled cooked long grain white rice
1 large cucumber
1/2 pound cooked chilled crab meat
1 large avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi paste*
2 sheets nori (baked seaweed)**

Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds in the middle with a spoon. Dice the cucumber into very small pieces, about the size of peas. Dice crab meat. Dice avocado and toss with lemon juice.

Mix together the vinegar, oil and sugar. Toss rice with vinegar mixture (using hands is messy, but helps to distribute vinegar mixture evenly!).  Dice nori sheets into very small pieces (I like using a pizza cutter for this task).

Toss rice with diced nori, cucumber, crab and avocado. Serve sprinkled with a little diced nori for garnish.

*Available in the Asian section of your grocery store or at an Asian specialty store.

** Available in the Asian section of your grocery store or at an Asian specialty store. You can skip the nori if you like, but the salad won’t have the same Japanese feel to it.

Other food bloggers make sushi rolls:
Fried Shrimp Sushi Rolls
, Lunch in a Box
California Rolls, No Recipes
Dragon Rolls Sushi, Use Real Butter
Panko Crusted Alaska Rolls, Confessions of a Foodie Bride
Vegetable Sushi, The Perfect Pantry
Sushi Rolls, Bits of Taste

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    I spent a year as an exchange student in Kyoto Japan, and I have to say I probably wouldnt have gotten by if it werent for a delicious dinner of udon a few times a week! There is even one shop where you can eat for free if you do 30 minutes of washing after! Anyway, I found a load more tasty looking ideas at this udon recipe site.

  2. Linda says

    OMG! I never thought I could make sushi at home. I am definitely going to try this easy method. Thanks for another fabulous idea ladies!

    • says

      I am happy to see that so many of our fabulous followers are loving the idea of this sushi salad. You could use any type of sushi that you order at restaurants as a rough recipe to follow and make a similar salad. Rainbow Roll Salad. Philadelphia Roll Salad. The possibilities are endless! Have fun, ladies, with your experimenting!

  3. says

    I have made a similar rice bowl from 101cookbooks but forgot about it for a while. Thanks for the reminder…this makes a great meal.

  4. says


    @ Jen… I think at the bottom of the side bar in the “Meta” box there is a Comment RSS.

    That may help you keep up with the comments… but perhaps that’s just for all comments & you want a post particular button?

    I am low-tech.

  5. says

    I am not a sushi expert my any means, but isn’t it slightly unorthodox to use anything other than jasmine or calrose rice? Is jasmine a long grain? I had never thought of trying it with brown rice. That is a very good idea. Thanks for this!

    PS I wish you had a “subscribe to followup comments” button. That would help me a lot.

  6. amy says

    I discovered this delicious trick a couple years ago–I have made it with brown rice (short grain) and I liked it that way. I haven’t made it since I came down with an avocado allergy last summer (yes, life is barely worth living now, I know).

    I like this salad with a wide range of veggies–julienned red peppers and carrots, blanched asparagus, cukes, and, of course, the mighty avocado, and toasted sesame seeds on top!

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